DOB: 22 May 1946
Debut: Round 7, 1965 against Footscray at Western Oval
Last MFC Game: Round 21, 1976 against Geelong at MCG
Number: 15 (1965-1976)
Captain: 1973 - 1976
Best and Fairest: 1972 - 1974
Victorian state representative - 1968, 1972, 1975 (4 games)
Night Series winner 1971
Life Member - 1975
Team of the Century emergency
150 Heroes selection
MFC Hall of Fame - 2003
Games: 226 (266 total)
Goals: 160 (174 total)
Statistical categories led
Most games in jumper 15
Signed two weeks before the 1964 Grand Final after being rejected by Collingwood, Richmond and St Kilda, Norm Smith initially considered Alves too lightweight to play VFL football. He'd trained with the seniors earlier in the year and impressed, but the coach sent him home from his first official training session for acting "like a chook with its head chopped off," but Alves persisted, showing up uninvited to training the next night, and Smith set him the task of putting on a stone of weight before the start of pre-season training. He succeeded, won a spot on the list and broke into the side early the next season.
One of the best on ground in his debut, Alves went on to play 13 games in his rookie season. The side bombed out in 1966 and finished second last with just four wins but their rapidly emerging winger was one of only four players to play all twenty games for the year.
By now one of the Demons most famous names, Alves finished second in the 1967 Best and Fairest, won the Outstanding Service Trophy for 1968 and was appointed vice-captain in 1969 - another wooden spoon campaign.
He won his second Outstanding Service Trophy in 1970, and was chosen by Football Life magazine along with Keith Greig as their wingers of the 70s. It was an amazing achievement for a player in a side that hadn't even had a sniff of finals for nearly five years. Robbie Flower later named Alves on the wing of his greatest ever side. He said his teammate "was elusive, skilled and clever - and had a decent measure of rat cunning to boot".
Numerous awards, and four seasons as captain were a fitting tribute to his persistence and to Smith's decision to persevere with the youngster and put him on a special gym program to build his slender body.
Alves won his first Best and Fairest award in 1972 and was appointed captain the next year but had a poor season when coach Ian Ridley tried him as a second rover instead in his customary position on the wing. The mistake was corrected in the last few weeks, and back on the wing he added another "Bluey" to his collection in 1974.
In 1975 he was beaten to the Brownlow Medal by just one vote but suffered more coach issues in 1976 where he fought a running battle with coach Bob Skilton as Melbourne were having their best season since 1964. When Skilton was reappointed coach for 1976, Alves announced he would never play for the Demons again, saying "I can no longer play with Melbourne on principle, and if it means I don't play football, well that's that."
The Demons countered by refusing Alves permission to talk to Carlton, Collingwood, Essendon and North Melbourne. A potential trade to Carlton for Robert Walls fell through and the ex-captain settled on North Melbourne as his preferred destination. North offered a cash payment and senior players like Sam Kekovich but the Demons demanded $40,000 or one of star trio Keith Grieg, Wayne Schimmelbusch or David Dench.
Alves had a delayed start to 1977, appearing for Sandringham in a VFA practice match while waiting for his clearance. He wasn't freed by Round 1, left on the sidelines waiting for the league to decide on his case. Melbourne even issued a token suspension, citing his criticism of the club and refusal to train. Melbourne complained to the league that North had interviewed Alves without permission. They were fined $2000 but got their money back and then some when the VFL ruled that he could become a Kangaroo at no cost. Once Alves made it to North Melbourne he played finals and won a premiership. After retiring at the end of 1979, Alves rejected offers from VFA and interstate clubs to play on and remained at North Melbourne as a runner under Ron Barassi. In 1980 he was assistant coach of the ACT team beat a Victorian B team.
When Barassi returned to the Demons in 1981, Alves followed him as an assistant coach and remained in the position in the late 80s. He filled in as Reserves coach in Round 11, 1985 when Ray Jordon was away coaching a junior representative side. Alves eventually moved into the media and working in radio before spending four years as a specialist coach at St. Kilda. He was promoted to the senior role to replace Ken Sheldon and led his side to a losing Grand Final in 1997. The next year he was sacked later after a losing finals effort against the Dees. He resisted an offer from an group opposed to Joseph Gutnick to return to the club and run for president against Gutnick in 2001.
Alves is currently a special comments man with 774 ABC Melbourne's football coverage. He was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia in 2008.
His brother Mark also played for the Demons.
Premiership players at other clubs
Also shown as from Seaford. May have also played 1977 pre-season games with Frankston and Geelong West.
Age - 27/05/1964
Inside Football - 01/07/1972
Age - 31/01/1973
Age - 26/07/1973
Age - 03/11/1976
Age - 25/11/1976
Age - 20/01/1977
Age - 21/01/1977
Age - 16/03/1977
Age - 07/04/1977
Age - 14/04/1977
Age - 21/04/1977
Inside Football - 02/07/1981
Inside Football - 18/07/1985
Football Record 2000 Grand Final
Age - 29/05/2001
Boyles Football Photos
Demonwiki image gallery