There are few items more iconic for the Hawthorn Football Club than its guernsey.

It embodies the club’s colours and the players who have worn those colours with distinction. Its evolution from the 1902 blue design, complete with red braces, to today’s strong vertical brown & gold stripes is traced in the Hawks Museum’s Guernsey Chronology. 

This hanging display has been expanded to include the development of sponsor and event logos that have sprung up since the advent of colour television coverage and increased professionalism in the sport. Eight guernseys worn by Premiership players and fan favourites have been added to the display. Each is significant. 

Alle de Wolde played 97 games for Hawthorn, mostly in the back pocket. The guernsey he wore in the successful 1978 Grand Final is now on display. It is significant not only because it was worn by a Premiership player, but also due to the famous blue ‘W’ Wynvale logo. First seen with a Hawk logo, Wynvale Wines became the club’s first guernsey sponsor in 1977. The last Wynvale logo was worn in 1981. 

Ruckman Greg Dear played in three Hawthorn Premierships during 137 games in the brown & gold. His Sekem guernsey from the thrilling 1989 Flag is on display here. It has the red and white patch for the appropriately named HFC Finance sponsor’s logo.

The guernsey that Hawthorn Hall of Fame inductee John Kennedy Jnr wore during the 1990 season also hangs in our display. 1990 saw the competition become the AFL and the VFL logo changed to reflect the new entity. The club’s guernsey sponsor had also changed. The brown & gold Household Finance logo was not square or a rectangular, but closer to a parallelogram.  Something was missing, though.

The missing item was a Hawk. An angular hawk head was added to the Household Finance logo in 1991.  Lanky wingman, Andrew Gowers wore the long-sleeved guernsey in our display during the 1991 Grand Final.  Manufactured by Sekem, it bears scars and rips of a lively season. 

The sublimely talented Darren Jarman was another 1991 Premiership player. Whilst not from that season, the 1993 guernsey we have on display is an excellent example from the first of two years of the OzChild sponsorship era.  

The number 3 has been worn by some notable Hawks. Two of our guernsey updates feature players who wore this iconic number.  Anthony Condon played an important part in two Hawthorn Flags – 1989 and 1991.  His Puma guernsey is on display, worn in the AFL’s Centennial year, 1996. It has a special logo commemorating this event. 

Another guernsey sporting the number 3 was worn by rangy backman, Jonathan Hay in 2000.  Its Samsung logo can be seen front and back.  These two guernseys are early examples of acrylic guernseys with sublimated logos replacing the sew-on embroidered patches. 

Premiership stalwart, Brad Sewell wore the next guernsey in the display during Heritage Round 2006. It is another example of guernsey logos that commemorate special events and anniversaries that are so prevalent nowadays.  

Our guernsey has been worn by so many fine players. Whether their guernsey was long-sleeved and woollen or the latest form-fitting design, it remains a symbol of moments of emotion, courage and skill of the Hawthorn footballer and of the passion for the club on field and off. During your next visit to the Hawks Museum remember to look up to the ceiling and see our expanded display.  It may bring back memories of your favourite Hawks running out in the brown & gold.