Secretary and Treasurer - William Freeman
President - Dr. Ford
Vice-President - Henry Harrison
Committee - Freeman, Byrne, Riggall
Captain - James Byrne
Vice-Captain - William Riggall
Leading goalscorer - Austin Loughnan (5)
Melbourne became known as the Redlegs after supporter and former player Larry Bell donated a set of red stockings from his trip to England for the side to play in. They already wore blue caps, and the famous red and blue combination was born. He provided blue stockings to Carlton, and they have been known as the Blues ever since. Bell made his comeback to the game during the year.
After years of tinkering with the rules the laws of the game were officially modified on Monday May 13. Umpires were officially given the power to decide on free kicks, infringements and rule interpretations instead of acting as arbiter in arguments between captains. The rules also codified the convention which had been followed for several years that ends would be changed at half time. Umpires would throw the ball up in the centre to start the second half. Players, though, had to appeal to the umpire for a free kick to be considered. Goals also had to clearly kicked through rather than just forced as in the past.
Another change was to allow senior teams 16 players instead of 15 against 20 when playing junior sides. This recognised the increasing number and talent of the minor clubs.
At the club's AGM before the start of the season it was resolved that the club not enter any Challenge Cup competitions as they believed the game was rough enough with an added element of competition.
The first scratch match of the season was played on Saturday 27 April, followed by more on Saturday 4 May, Saturday 11 May, Saturday 18 May, Tuesday 21 May and Saturday 15 June. There was talk about a Queen's Birthday game against Ballarat at home, then a return match in the country but it never came off.
During the July 20 match against Collingwood, six Carlton players turned out for the black and whites. Melbourne losing their first match of the year while playing short on a wet day.
A match against Richmond on 22 June was not played due to rain, a game on 21 September against Collingwood was also not played and a match against Geelong on 22 August was cancelled because the opposition couldn't field a side. A scratch match was played on 28 September.
Melbourne were premiers from Carlton and Albert Park.
Austin Loughnan was leading goalscorer with five.
After the season Henry Harrison was presented with an engraved diamond ring as a thanks for his tireless work. He had retired before the start of the year.
At the next year's AGM it was said that Melbourne's record in 1872 was nine wins, four draws and two losses from 15 matches - but other sources show eight wins and three losses. The club finished with a small positive cash balance.
|25 May||South Yarra||WIN|
|8 June||Albert Park||WIN|
|27 July||South Yarra||NO RESULT|
|10 August||Albert Park||DRAW|
|17 August||East Melbourne||DRAW|
|14 September||Combined Juniors||DRAW|
W. Barker, Larry Bell, James Bennie, John Bennie, James Byrne, Charles Carr, Robert Carr, Tom Colles, Bransby Cooper, Corrigan, Darchy, Raleigh Davidson, D. Duff, W. Finlay, Charles Forrester, William Freeman, Fuller, W. Gaggin, Ben Goldsmith, G. Hebden, Tom Hepburn, Houston, Hyne, Charles Ireland, Tom Ireland, Andrew Loughnan, Austin Loughnan, F. Macoboy, C. McCracken, McGonigal, McLennan, Morrell, M. Pender, William Riggall, H. Ryan, W. Thomas, Edwin Towle, Treacy, C. Willan, W. Williams, Egbert Wills, J. Wright
The Age suggests the rule changes were debated on Tuesday 21 May.
Argus - 29/04/1872
Age - 04/05/1872
Herald - 06/05/1872
Leader - 11/05/1872
Advocate - 11/05/1872
Australasian - 11/05/1872
Leader - 18/05/1872
Age - 15/06/1872
Age - 22/08/1872
Australasian - 28/09/1872
Australasian - 12/10/1872
Argus - 08/05/1873
Advocate - 10/05/1873
"Origins of Australian Football: Volume 1" by Mark Pennings