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Updated: 13/05/2007

The Centenary of the AFL and beyond

The Centenary Season
1996, the 100th season of the VFL/AFL, saw many notable celebrations. One of these was the release by Australia Post of the Centenary of the AFL Stamps Series on the 23rd April 1996, the largest stamp issue in Australia's history. Another was the setting up and the induction into of players to the Hall of Fame. It is proposed that this will be housed in an Australian Football Museum in Melbourne. The centenary season also saw the successful merger of the Brisbane Bears and Fitzroy Lions to become the Brisbane Lions. It also saw the failure of a merger between Hawthorn and Melbourne. 
1996 AFL Centenary Cover
This cover is the official Australia Post AFL Centenary Cover. It shows four of the Peel and stick stamps representing North Melbourne, Brisbane, Sydney and Carlton. It is stamped with the Complementary National First Day of Issue Postmark (PMCF 372) and overprinted with the Centenary cachet.
100 years & beyond
The AFL continues to go from strength to strength with the 2000 season commencing early due to the Olympic games being held in Sydney in September. This led to a longer break over the summer with people withdrawing from their football fix by the start of the Ansett Cup preseason competition.

The VFL competition continues to be transformed with the abolition of reserve matches before the senior games. Some clubs continued to play in the VFL in their own right while others joined with existing VFL teams. In 2001 they were joined by a team from Tasmania after the collapse of its state wide competition.

The VFL teams are Bendigo (joined 1998), Box Hill Hawks (joined 1951, affiliated with Hawthorn), Carlton (joined 2000), Coburg Tigers (joined 1925, affiliated with Richmond), Essendon (joined 2000), Frankston (joined 1966), Geelong (joined 2000), Murray Kangaroos (joined 2000, affiliated with North Melbourne), North Ballarat (joined 1996), Northern Bullants (joined 1903), Port Melbourne (joined 1886, affiliated with the Sydney Swans), Sandringham (joined 1929, affiliated with Melbourne), Springvale (joined 1982, affiliated with St Kilda), Tasmania (joined 2001), Werribee (joined 1965, affiliated with the Western Bulldogs) and Williamstown (joined 1884, affiliated with Collingwood).

Heritage Weekend 2003
The weekend of Round 19 was used to celebrate Australian Football's rich heritage by 14 of the 16 Clubs wearing throwback jumpers to earlier stages in their history.

First Class Collectables issued a series of Commemorative Covers.

Richmond v St Kilda Sydney v Hawthorn Port Power v Carlton Kangaroos v Fremantle
Nathan Burke Adam Goodes Darren Hulme Paul Hasleby
Matthew Richardson Sam Mitchell Brendon Fevola Brett Harvey
Xav Clarke Jude Bolton Byron Pickett Brady Rawlings
.Ben Holland Brett Johnson Gavin Wanganeen Des Hedland
. . Stuart Dew. .
Melbourne v Geelong W Bulldogs v Essendon Lions v Collingwood Adelaide v WC Eagles
Ben Graham Robert Murphy Alistair Lynch .
David Wojcinski Joe Misiti Shane Woewodin .
David Neitz Dean Solomon Jamie Charman .
Adam Yze Luke Darcey Alistair Lynch. .
Darren Jolly Luke Darcey .Anthony Rocca .
. Nathan Brown . .