Captains - Henry Harrison, N. Neal, Jack Conway
Treasurer/Secretary - RW Wardill
Committee - George Nichols, A. Hardcastle, M. Byrne, Henry Harrison, William Hammersley
Leading goalkicker: Andrew Fleming - 3
On May 5 representatives of the major clubs gathered to review the rules. Henry Harrison and Richard Wardill were Melbourne's representative at the talks, with Carlton, Royal Park and South Yarra also present.
The changes standardised the distance between goalposts as seven yards, added a rule where boundary lines must be marked by posts hammered into the ground and clarified the concept of running with the ball by demanding players bounce it every 'five or six yards.' Players continued to take advantage of the clause that suggested they could run as far as it took to kick the ball.
New rules for the Challenge Cup stated that clubs had to have a minimum of 16 players on the field whenever the cup was being defended. Clubs had to defend within 10 days of being challenged unless they already had a fixture arranged, and any club who lost a challenge had to wait for all the major clubs to play the champion before they received another go.
The first scratch match of the season was played on Saturday 19 May between teams chosen by Henry Harrison and Neal. It was postponed from the previous Saturday due to hot weather. Further matches were played on 26 and 30 May before the team was chosen to play the first Challenge Cup match of the season.
South Yarra won the Challenge Cup off Melbourne in the first game of the season. Melbourne had the chance to win it back in the last game of the season but lost to them.
The club held 'Australians vs The World'' scratch matches on Saturday 7 July and Saturday 8 September. A match for the Challenge Cup against South Yarra which was scheduled for Saturday 4 August was cancelled due to rain and another Australians vs the World match was played. The squads were:
Harrison (c), Aitken, Bruford, Colville, D. Campbell, Campbell, Dinwoodie, Fleming, Gates, Gaunson, Hurst, Lock, McPherson, Snodgrass, A. Ogilvy, Tait, T. White, Woolley, Waugh, G. Waugh and Tracey.
T. Ireland (c), Bennie, Cotter, Copeland, Davidson, Finlay, Gair, Horan, Hepburn, Hannaford, Hewitt, J De C Ireland, R. Ireland, Kennedy, Michie, Nicholls, Neal, Perraton, Rankin, Hardcastle and Serrell
The South Yarra game was rescheduled for 11 August but didn't happen, eventually played on 25 August
The club is reported as having become debt free during the year. During the year they challenged the Sydney club to a game.
|2 June||South Yarra||LOSS||0-2|
|16 June||Civil Service||DRAW||1-0|
|14 July||South Yarra||DRAW||1-0|
|25 August||South Yarra||DRAW||1-1|
|15 September||South Yarra||LOSS||0-2|
W. Aitken, Wilton Barfoot, W. Barker, John Bennie, F. Bruford, James Byrne, Donald Campbell, Jimmy Campbell, W. Campbell, John Colville, Harry Conway, Jack Conway, George Dana, Davidson, Dinwoodie, W. Finlay, Andrew Fleming, William Freeman, A. Gates, Bill Gorman, Tom Gorman, Harry Guy, Henry Harrison, Tom Hepburn, J. Hewitt, Frank Hillsden, James Horan, W. Hurst, de Courcey Ireland, James Ireland, Richard Ireland, Tom Ireland, George Kennedy, Locke, J. MacPherson, Theophilis Marshall, A. Michie, N. Neal, G. Nichols, D. Ogilvy, J. Ogilvy, W. Perraton, William Riggall, Scott, Serrell, J. Shiels, E. Snodgrass, E. Stephens, James Stodart, R. Treacy, B. Wardill, Richard Wardill, George Waugh, R. Waugh, T. Whyte, H. Woolley
Andrew Fleming 3, George Kennedy 2, Harry Conway 1, Bill Gorman 1, de Courcey Ireland 1, R. Waugh 1
Some sources list Henry Harrison as the "Champion of the Colony" for 1866, but there is some dispute over whether this award actually existed.
M. Byrne is probably James Byrne.
Age - 02/05/1866
Herald - 02/05/1866
Bell's Life in Victoria - 19/05/1866
Australasian - 26/05/1866
Argus - 30/05/1866
Australasian - 02/06/1866
Australasian - 07/07/1866
Herald - 04/08/1866
Bell's Life - 11/08/1866
Argus - 13/08/1866
"Origins of Australian Football: Volume 1" by Mark Pennings
Blueseum 1866 page