Captain - Joe Wilson
Vice Captain - Patrick O'Loughlin
Jack Leith was second in the league goalkicking with 28 and McCarthy third with 24.
Despite their fourth placed finish the year was seen as a missed opportunity for Melbourne, who showed excellent form on a handful of occasions but then let themselves down with poor games without teamwork. They weren't helped by injuries at the start of the year to Joe Wilson, Fred McGinis and George Moysey or by the departure of David Christy to Western Australia midway through the year.
Collingwood defeated South Melbourne in a "Grand Final" to win the league.
After the season several of the inner suburban clubs, joined by Geelong, broke away from the VFA to form the VFL. The seeds of the future split had been shown throughout the season as the association's management committee debated ways to restore public interest in the game, such as changing the distance that the 'little mark' needed to travel. In the end the VFL abolished the little mark altogether.
The charity games on 13 June were played with the experimental rules, such as extending the little mark distance to five yards and to instruct umpires to crack down on players throwing the ball instead of kicking it. The old rule of the ball being 'in play' the moment it was thrown in by the boundary umpire was also reintroduced for the day.
An increase in bad language on the field was noted, with the claims that if there wasn't reform that respectable young fellows will retire from the sport and leave it entirely in the hand of blackguards.
|20 June||St Kilda||WIN|
|27 June||South Melbourne||LOSS|
|11 July||Port Melbourne||WIN|
|18 July||North Melbourne||WIN|
|1 August||South Melbourne||LOSS|
|1 July||Southern Tasmania||WIN|
|4 July||Southern Tasmania||WIN|
George Adamson, David Christy, Herbert Fry, Hall, Alf Healing, Harry Hughes, Douglas Irving, Michael Kennedy, Jack Leith, Austin Lewis, Lew Massey, Jim McCarthy, Bill McCulloch, Fred McGinis, Alex McKenzie, J. McNamara, Henry Mitchell, George Moodie, R. Moore, E. Mountjoy, George Moysey, George O'Dwyer, ((James O'Halloran|James O'Halloran)), Patrick O'Loughlin, C. Over, J. Powell, G. Ramsden, A. Robinson, Fred Sheahan, Eddie Sholl, W. Smith, W. Steele, Ned Sutton, Thompson, Dick Wardill, C. Watson, Joe Wilson, J. Wiseman
Leith 28, McCarthy 24, McGinis 13, Christie 10, Powell 9, Wardill 9, Adamson 5, Fry 4, McCulloch 4, Moodie 2, O'Halloran 2, O'Loughlin 2, Sheahan 2, Wilson 2, Irving 1, O'Dwyer 1, Smith 1
There is a suggestion that the club rebranded - at least temporarily as - 'MCC'.
Sydney Mail - 09/05/1896
Australasian - 13/06/1896
West Australian 06/07/1896
VFA Tables and Results