President - Frank Grey Smith
Vice Presidents - James Byrne, Henry Harrison, Charles Forrester and Bob Sillett
Treasurer - Edward Longden
Secretary - Charles Jenvey
Second 20 Secretary - George Pilley
Third 20 Secretary - C. Bischman
Committee - Above plus M. McKenzie and J. McDonald
Captain - SC Lamrock
Vice Captain - McKie
Leading goalkicker - Billy Stiffe (14)

The VFA rules were altered so that all matches would be played to a set time, that players could not tackle below the knee and that with some exceptions they wouldn't be able to appear for more than one club during the season. West Melbourne dropped out of the competition after a poor 1880.

At the start of the year it was resolved to open a club office so that members could gain information about the club. A motion from Henry Harrison that the captain and vice captain should be elected by the players of the first 20 was carried by a large majority.

Scratch matches were played on Saturday 2 April and Saturday 9 April.

The side won 14 games with four draws and six losses. An 18 June match against South Melbourne at the MCG was cancelled due to heavy rain. It was scheduled to be played the following Saturday but Melbourne lined up against East Melbourne instead. South were eventually declared premiers from Geelong. On unofficial ladders Melbourne finished fourth.

A match on Tuesday 24 May against Ballarat was postponed due to rain, and a match against South Melbourne on June 18 also postponed due to the condition of the ground.

Despite often playing in front of large crowds the club lost a substantial amount of money for the season. Receipts were 325p against expenditure of 604p. 230p of that had been spent on a trip to Sydney. The club retained a balance of 189p.

The club played 24 matches, won 14, lost six and drew four. They scored 79 goals and conceded 43. John Adams, Dave Aitken, Murdoch McKenzie and Billy Stiffe all played for Victoria against New South Wales. Aitken, McKenzie and William Manifold also played against South Australia.

Melbourne players listed in The Australian newspaper's best players were Dave Aitken (followers), S. Thewlis (backs), John Watson (all rounders), John Adams (wings), Murdoch McKenzie (forwards)) and Billy Stiffe (goal sneaks)).

VFA matches

28 May Hotham WIN
4 June Carlton WIN
11 June Geelong DRAW
25 June East Melbourne WIN
2 July Essendon LOSS
23 July Carlton LOSS
30 July Essendon WIN
6 August South Melbourne LOSS
13 August Hotham WIN
20 August Geelong LOSS
27 August Carlton DRAW
3 September East Melbourne WIN
10 September Hotham DRAW
17 September Essendon LOSS
24 September South Melbourne LOSS
1 October Carlton DRAW

Other matches

30 April Public Schools WIN
7 May South Yarra WIN
14 May Northcote WIN
19 May Williamstown Trades WIN
21 May Powlett WIN
24 May Ballarat WIN
9 July East Sydney WIN
14 July Sydney WIN
16 July East Sydney-Sydney WIN


John Adams, Dave Aitken, T. Anthony, WH. Bailey, Charles Baker, Fred Baker, Alexander Bennie, Bob Booth, William Boys, HJ Byrne, A. Conroy, E. Darlot, Harry Downes, W. Downes, E. Francis, R. Hamilton, Alfred Hill, G. Hope, George Houston, Charles Jenvey, Sam Lamrock, H. Lawrence, Edward Longden, William Manifold, John Macdonald, McDonnell, Murdoch McKenzie, Jim McKie, D. McLeod, James Morris, B. Murphy, Henry Oakley, W. Pettigrew, F. Pitcher, Charles Power, Frank Power, Herb Power, Thomas Power, Dave Rannard, Walter Roberts, James Robertson, Charles Rosser, John Rosser, Rowe, Bob Sibley, Bob Sillett, Bob Simson, Billy Stiffe, J. Swallow, C. Swyer, Herbert Syme, Sam Thewlis, John Watson, Fred Wedd, James Wilson


Billy Stiffe 14, Bob Sibley 9, Murdoch McKenzie 8, Dave Aitken 6, Charles Baker 5, John Macdonald 4, Herbert Syme 4, William Boys 3, Frank Power 3, Harry Downes 2, Alfred Hill 2, Henry Oakley 2, Charles Power 2, Herb Power 2, L. Roberts 2, John Adams 1, Fred Baker 1, Bob Booth, R. Hamilton, S. Lamrock, Edward Longden 1, J. Morris 1, Power 1, Dave Rannard 1, John Watson 1, James Wilson 1

Second 20

30 April Hotham WIN2-0 Pettigrew
14 May Hawthorn UNKNOWN ?
21 May West Melbourne UNKNOWN ?
18 June South Melbourne 3-0
25 June Clarendon UNKNOWN ?
30 June Maryborough LOSS 0-3
16 July Powlett UNKNOWN ?
6 August Carlton UNKNOWN ?

Some sources have Stiffe kicking 16 goals. Queen's Birthday May game vs Ballarat may not have taken place.

Argus - 02/04/1881, 14/04/1882
Herald - 22/06/1881
Sydney Mail - 16/07/1881

Blueseum 1881 page
VFA ladders and results 1881 page

Created by Supermercado. Last Modification: Tuesday 13 February 2024 13:57:36 AEDT by Supermercado. (Version 48)

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