Although the league was still called the VFL until the start of the 1990 season, the 1987 season was the unofficial first AFL season when the league when it was expanded from 12 clubs to 14 clubs. The new clubs were West Coast Eagles and Brisbane Bears. Port Adelaide, who are a successful club in the SANFL, was to be the 14th club. But their bid was squashed by SANFL. Port Adelaide eventually joined the AFL in 1997, 10 years later than originally planned.
Carlton were the minor premiers and won the premiership. They played Hawthorn in the Grand Final who finished 2nd in the ladder. Whilst Richmond won the wooden spoon.
The Coleman Medal for the leading goalscorer was awarded to Tony Lockett of St. Kilda. He shared the Brownlow Medal with John Platten of Hawthorn.
|Qualifying Semi Final|
|Qualifying Final||Preliminary Final||Hawthorn|
|3||Sydney Swans||Eliminating Semi Final||Melbourne|