President - Frank Grey Smith
Vice Presidents - Henry Harrison, Charles Forrester, Jas Byrne, George Aitken
Treasurer - Arthur Hunt
Secretary - J. Macdonald
Assistant Secretary - A. Smith
Captain - Howard Morrison
Vice-Captain - A. Edwards
Committee - Above plus G. Murdoch, J. Morris, H. Morrison J. Farquhar and F. Willis.
Second 20 Secretary - W. Lynar

The VFA further expanded - adding Footscray, Port Melbourne, Prahran, St Kilda and South Williamstown to the ranks of senior clubs. They also brought in measures to stamp out professionalism in the game, a move welcomed by the Melbourne club which had always played as amateurs.

For the first time games were played in 30 minute quarters rather hour long halves as a result of a vote at the Inter-Colonial Football Conference held in Melbourne the previous November. The rules were also altered to make 'little marks' have to travel two yards before counting and permitted the use of boundary umpires if the two sides agreed. Timekeepers, one from each club, were introduced.

After a number of seasons of disappointing play, Melbourne finally gave their fans something to look forward to - going on a seven game winning streak towards the end of the year before reverting to type and losing their last two matches.

During the year the Reds toured Tasmania, leaving on 7 July. The touring part was Bailey, Baird, Buscombe, Brayshay, Burns, Coulson, Dodds, Edwards, T. Elliott, Franks, Griffith, Garton, Hobbs, Johnson, Lynar, Murphy, Morgan, Morrison, Nuttall, O'Bern, Plant, Robinson and Strachan.

James Kelly (back), Ed Griffith, Harry O'Bern and Tuckfield (forward) were named in The Australasian newspaper's team of the year.

VFA Season

1 May Hotham LOSS2-4
8 May Carlton LOSS1-6
15 May South Melbourne LOSS2-3
29 May Fitzroy LOSS2-3
5 June Essendon DRAW3-3
12 June Hotham WIN2-1
19 June Prahran WIN4-2
26 June Williamstown WIN3-2
3 July Port Melbourne LOSS1-4
24 July Richmond LOSS4-5
31 July South Melbourne LOSS1-6
7 August Fitzroy WIN6-1
14 August Essendon WIN3-2
21 August University WIN6-0
28 August Carlton WIN6-5
4 September Port Melbourne WIN5-1
11 September Richmond WIN5-2
18 September South Williamstown WIN6-2
25 September Geelong LOSS2-7
2 October Williamstown LOSS3-4

Other matches

17 April Public Schools WIN3-1
28 April Scotch College WIN6-1
22 May South Ballarat WIN5-4
10 July Launceston WIN5-2
14 July Southern Tasmania LOSS1-8
17 July Southern Tasmania WIN3-2
17 July Kyneton LOSS0-3


George Aitken, R. Aitken, WR Bailey, S. Baird, R. Brown, W. Burns, B. Buscombe, Billy Carroll, Cleary, A. Coulson, Charles Coulson, T. Dickeson, T. Dodds, A. Edwards, J. Elliott, T. Elliott, Finlay, F. Franks, C. Garton, Ed Griffith, F. Hallett, George Hallett, Henry, J Johnson, W. Johnson, James Kelly, Joe Kerrigan, Lacey, E. Lynar, S. Lynar, F. Lyons, E. Manifold, A. McCrindle, McEachern, McPhee, P. Millard, W. Morgan, Howard Morrison, Mouritz, J Murphy, PR Murphy, Harry O'Bern, O'Shannessey, P. Parsons, Fred Plant, H. Plant, T. Rand, Dick Robinson, W. Rushton, Ryan, Seymour, C. Spooner, G. Strachan, Staughton, H. Tuckfield, R. Wardrop, Wheeler, D. Willis, H. Wilmott


S. Baird 22, E. Lynar 12, T. Dodds 9, Billy Carroll 6, R. Aitken 5, Ed Griffith 4, W. Burns 2, P. Murphy 2, R. Brown 1, B. Buscombe 1, T. Dickeson 1, J. Elliott 1, George Hallett 1, F. Lyons 1, P. Millard 1, J Murphy 1, PR Murphy 1, Harry O'Bern 1

Unofficial ladder

1 Geelong27243020855
2 South Melbourne22192112550
3 Carlton 22151612281
4 Port Melbourne2412668560
5 Fitzroy2312298169
10South Williamstown167545641
12 St Kilda18621052100

Second 20

1 May Hotham UNKNOWN ?
8 May Carlton WIN3 -2 Morton, Lynar, Parson
15 May South Melbourne WIN 3.6 - 0.5Lynar 2, Morton
29 May Fitzroy LOSS 1.9 - 2.4
5 June Essendon UNKNOWN ?
12 June Hotham WIN 4.9 - 3.4
19 June Prahran WIN3.12 - 1.2 Hubbard 2, Parsons 1
26 June Williamstown WIN4.9 - 0.1
3 July University UNKNOWN ?
10 July St Kilda WIN4.12 - 0.3 Marshall, Dennis, Parsons, Plant
17 July Kyneton LOSS 0.1 - 3.10
24 July Richmond DRAW1.3 - 3.9
31 July South Melbourne DRAW1.8 - 1.2 Morton
7 August Fitzroy WIN3.7 to 1.5
28 August Carlton 2.5 to 3.5 Dennis 2
4 September Brighton UNKNOWN ?
11 September Xavier College UNKNOWN ?


  • Jas Byrne may have been James Byrne
  • Newspapers list a match against Public Schools on Saturday 17 April as scheduled, but there are no reports in the Monday papers.
  • Newspapers list a game against St Kilda Rovers on Monday 14/06 but no results are given the next day. This is probably a second 20's match.
  • A match against Kyneton is shown as happening on the same day Melbourne were in Tasmania. This is therefore assumed to be a second 20 match.

The Argus - 07/04/1886
The Australasian - 10/04/1886
Weekly Times - 10/04/1886
The Argus - 03/05/1886
Sydney Mail - 22/05/1886
The Argus - 07/07/1886
The Sydney Times - 17/07/1886
The Australasian - 17/07/1886
The Australasian - 24/07/1886
Weekly Times - 21/08/1886
Origins of Australian Football: Volume 3 by Mark Pennings

Footystats Chronology
VFA Results and Tables

Created by Supermercado. Last Modification: Saturday 03 February 2024 19:14:49 AEDT by Supermercado. (Version 51)

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