President - FT West Ford
Vice Presidents - Henry Harrison, James Byrne, J. Bennie, Charles Forrester
Secretary - James McDonald
Second 20 Secretary - Charles Jenvey
Captain - Bob Sillett
Vice Captain - James McDonald
Leading goalkicker: Charles Baker - 14
The VFA was formed on May 7 at Oliver's Cafe in Melbourne. Inaugural teams were Melbourne, Carlton, Essendon, Geelong, Albert Park, Hotham, St Kilda and East Melbourne. The clubs adapted a new set of rules for the competition, including a prohibition on slinging players by the neck as an attempt to cut down on rough play. Melbourne unsuccessfully attempted to have the 'little mark' banned, and refused to use it for much of the season.
The first scratch match of the year was played on Saturday 28 April.
The club played a total of 25 games, for 19 wins, three draws and three losses. Melbourne scored 40 goals and conceded 19. A poor start to the season cost them their premiership, but they were unbeaten between July and September and won the last game of the season against eventual premiers Carlton.
During the season the club toured Adelaide with a party consisting of Aitken, Anthony, Baker, Bennie, Byrne, Cook, Cumming, Downes, Goldsmith, Houston, Jenvey, Lamrock, Longden, Lush, McKie, Moffatt, Munro, Reeve, Sandilands, Seward and Suhard.
Having suffered problems blocking the football ground off, as it was public land, the MCC constructed an ingenious grandstand which could be moved to face the cricket or football grounds as required. The price of admission to the grandstand was a much needed source of income for the club despite the MCC's attempt to take their piece of the pie.
The new innovation emboldened vice-president Henry Harrison to ask the MCG for access to the cricket ground and the request was granted in time for the June match against traditional rivals Carlton.
On the 16th of August, while most of the senior side were in Adelaide, a practice match was played between past and present MFC players.
The 14 goals by Charles Baker were the most of any player in the competition by five.
James Byrne also captained the side later in the year.
Teams were listed as having seven 'lines' during the year - Goalkeeper, Back, Half-Back, Centre, Centre Forward, Centre Forward on Goal, Goal Sneak. Rules were changed so that players could no longer sling a player by the neck to the ground, but they were still able to pushing or chest a running player to the ground.
At the end of the year The Australasian named their best players - with E. Longden (followers), J. McKie, S. Lamrock (backs), R. Sillett (half-backs), F. Baker (half-forwards), W. Moffatt and JM McDonald (wings) and C. Baker (forwards) all qualifying.
|30 June||St. Kilda||WIN|
|15 September||Albert Park||WIN|
|22 September||St. Kilda||WIN|
|19 May||West Melbourne||WIN|
|26 May||North Fitzroy||WIN|
|13 August||Combined South Australians||WIN|
|18 August||West Melbourne||WIN|
|1 September||Combined Schools||WIN|
Dave Aitken, T. Anthony, Charles Baker, Fred Baker, Ted Barrass, James Bennie, John Booth, J. Byrne, Charles Carr, Harry Carr, Chapman, Walter Coldham, Ted Cooke, J. Cooper, Cooper, G. Cullen, Angus Cumming, Harry Downes, Charles Forrester, Fraser, N. Fullarton, Gardiner, W. Gilchrist, P. Goldsmith, W. Hopkins, George Houston, HW Jenvey, J. Johnson, Kelly, S. Lamrock, E. Longden, Lush, James McDonald, John Macdonald, T. McGuigan, Jim McKie, W. Moffatt, A. Munro, Utar Nicholas, F. Page, Percival, T. Petrie, Power, W. Reeve, Hugh Ross, Will Sandilands, Percy Serjeant, S. Seward, C. Sherard, Bob Sillett, Fred Stephen, Louis Suhard, George Watson, F. Webb, H. Webb, W. Williams.
Charles Baker - 14, James McDonald 7, Fred Baker 6, John Booth 4, Harry Downes 3, E. Longden 2, P. Goldsmith 2, T. Anthony 2, James Bennie 1, John Macdonald 1, W. Moffatt 1, A. Munro 1, Utar Nicholas 1, Bob Sillett 1, Louis Suhard 1
|30 June||Albert Park||LOSS||0-1|
|28 July||Richmond Standard||LOSS||0-2|
|4 August||St Kilda Esplanade||WIN||1-0|
|11 August||Albert Park||WIN||1-0|
Weekly Times - 28/04/1877
Argus - 04/06/1877
Adelaide Observer - 11/08/1877
Argus - 08/10/1877
Australasian - 13/10/1877
Argus - 19/08/1878
"Origins of Australian Football: Volume 2" by Mark Pennings