Coach: Frank Hughes
Captain: Ivor Warne-Smith
Finishing Position: 1st
Best and Fairest: Jack Mueller
Leading Goalkicker: Norm Smith (54)
Best First Year Player: n/a
Members: 1919

Matches Ladder Playing List Tribunal Seconds

Image Entering the 13th season since their last premiership victory, fans were beginning to get restless after their 1937 return to finals was followed by a near miss the next year. After the Demons were pipped to fourth by Collingwood in 1938, Mr J Smith penned an to Melbourne's longtime rivals before the start of the season

"Owed" To Collingwood by J.O Smith
They're sanguine - very,
That the flag of this year's fight
Will float o'er the banks of Merri,
Crossed with bars of black and white.
We have got a strong impression
That the boys in red and blue
Have learnt a useful lesson
And they've learnt it most from you.
There's a little score to settle
That has long been overdue;
You have got us on our mettle,
And we'll square accounts with you.''

After one of the most unpredictable VFL seasons yet, Smith's ode proved prophetic as Melbourne met Collingwood in the Grand Final. The Demons finished top of the ladder for the first time after inconsistent form that saw an unprecedented 15 scores over 100, including nine in a row, but also narrow wins over strugglers Hawthorn and South Melbourne late in the season. Their two highest scores of the year both came against the Magpies.

The season finished a week later than planned due to games on Saturday 26 August being postponed because of heavy rain that affected most league grounds. A week later, on the day after the rescheduled Round 18, Australia entered World War II when Great Britain declared war on Germany.

The season was played with new rules, forced on the VFL by the ruling Australian National Football Council. Holding the ball laws were amended, and boundary throw-ins were reintroduced instead of paying free kicks every time the ball went out of bounds. The new holding the ball rule, which stopped players from dropping the ball when tackled and required them to dispose of the ball when "firmly held", proved controversial in the first few weeks of the season.

Melbourne's Seconds also won the premiership.

Club delegates to the VFL were Joe Blair and Bruce Hogg.

Premiership season

1 RichmondLOSS84-121
2 EssendonWIN141-135
3 St. KildaWIN112-81
4 North MelbourneWIN110-74
5 GeelongWIN106-90
6 South MelbourneWIN137-30
7 FitzroyWIN122-99
8 FootscrayWIN122-103
9 CarltonLOSS103-133
10 CollingwoodWIN154-60
11 HawthornWIN54-52
12 RichmondWIN106-99
13 EssendonLOSS60-77
14 St. KildaWIN102-78
15 North MelbourneWIN102-60
16 GeelongWIN148-95
17 South MelbourneWIN84-80
18 FitzroyWIN81-35
SF CollingwoodWIN104-90
GF Collingwood WIN148-95

Exhibition matches

Essendon LOSS67-128


St. Kilda1305116.552
North Melbourne601291.324
South Melbourne301570.812

Playing list

1 Gordon Jones 120
2 Roy Dowsing 21
3 Bill Baxter 30
4 Norm Smith 2054
5 Keith Truscott 1710
5 Lou Reiffel 12
6 Ian Giles 60
7 Hugh Murnane 76
8 Rowley Fischer 144
9 Richie Emselle 170
10 Maurie Gibb 65
11 Harold Ball 2030
12 Jack Mueller 1625
13 Les Jones 2023
14 Jack Maher 92
15 Ron Baggott 1834
16 Gerry Daly 20
17 Allan La Fontaine 185
18 Wally Lock 140
19 Frank Roberts 130
20 Frank Williams 10
21 Ron Kimberley 113
22 Harry Harley 143
23 Ray Wartman 187
24 Percy Beames 1337
26 Jack Furniss 121
27 Les Gibbs 10
29 Jack O'Keefe 137
30 Alby Rodda 914
31 Ron Barassi 1328
32 Dick Hingston 190
33 Ted Buckley 90
35 Derek Symonds 10
36 Sid Anderson 118

Best and Fairest

1st Jack Mueller

Most consistent - Richie Emselle
Most determined - Frank Roberts
Most accomplished - Allan La Fontaine
Special trophy (clubman) - Gordon Jones
Most improved - Keith Truscott
Most unselfish - Norm Smith
Special trophy - Beames, Fischer, Furniss, Hingston, Jones, Dowsing, Wartman


Round 4 Rowley Fischer Attempted Striking 2 matches
Round 11 Ron Barassi Striking 4 matches
Round 13 Jack Mueller Elbowing 4 matches
Round 14 Keith Truscott Elbowing Not Guilty
GF Wally Lock Jostling, pushing and tripping 4 matches


1939 Seconds season
Leading goalkicker - Fred Fanning - 111
Best first year player - Sid Anderson

Richmond 140414056
Melbourne 130514452
St Kilda50128320
North Melbourne40145416
South Melbourne2015678


SF Richmond WIN103-96
GF Richmond WIN144-115

Official sources show Les Gibbs wearing number 28 in 1939, but Football Record shows number 27.

Match also played in Ballarat in early August.

Sporting Globe - 18/01/1939
Football Record R1 1939
Football Record 1939 Finals
Herald - 07/02/1940
Age - 08/02/1940

AFL Tables page
Wikipedia page

Created by Supermercado. Last Modification: Wednesday 06 December 2023 15:07:19 AEDT by Supermercado. (Version 39)

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