President - Frank Grey Smith
Vice Presidents - James Byrne, Henry Harrison, Charles Forrester and Bob Sillett
Treasurer - EW Longden
Secretary - Charles Jenvey
Second 20 Secretary - George Pilley
Third 20 Secretary - C. Bischman
Committee - Above plus M. McKenzie and J. McDonald
Captain - SC Lamrock
Vice Captain - McKie
Leading goalkicker - Billy Stiffe (14)
The VFA rules were altered so that all matches would be played to a set time, that players could not tackle below the knee and that with some exceptions they wouldn't be able to appear for more than one club during the season. West Melbourne dropped out of the competition after a poor 1880.
At the start of the year it was resolved to open a club office so that members could gain information about the club. A motion from Henry Harrison that the captain and vice captain should be elected by the players of the first 20 was carried by a large majority.
Scratch matches were played on Saturday 2 April and Saturday 9 April.
The side won 14 games with four draws and six losses. An 18 June match against South Melbourne at the MCG was cancelled due to heavy rain. It was scheduled to be played the following Saturday but Melbourne lined up against East Melbourne instead. South were eventually declared premiers from Geelong. On unofficial ladders Melbourne finished fourth.
A match on Tuesday 24 May against Ballarat was postponed due to rain, and a match against South Melbourne on June 18 also postponed due to the condition of the ground.
Despite often playing in front of large crowds the club lost a substantial amount of money for the season. Receipts were 325p against expenditure of 604p. 230p of that had been spent on a trip to Sydney. The club retained a balance of 189p.
The club played 24 matches, won 14, lost six and drew four. They scored 79 goals and conceded 43. John Adams, Dave Aitken, Murdoch McKenzie and Billy Stiffe all played for Victoria against New South Wales. Aitken, McKenzie and William Manifold also played against South Australia.
Melbourne players listed in The Australian newspaper's best players were Dave Aitken (followers), S. Thewlis (backs), John Watson (all rounders), John Adams (wings), Murdoch McKenzie (forwards)) and Billy Stiffe (goal sneaks)).
|25 June||East Melbourne||WIN|
|6 August||South Melbourne||LOSS|
|3 September||East Melbourne||WIN|
|24 September||South Melbourne||LOSS|
|30 April||Public Schools||WIN|
|7 May||South Yarra||WIN|
|19 May||Williamstown Trades||WIN|
|9 July||East Sydney||WIN|
|16 July||East Sydney-Sydney||WIN|
John Adams, Dave Aitken, T. Anthony, WH. Bailey, Charles Baker, Fred Baker, Alexander Bennie, Bob Booth, W. Boys, HJ Byrne, A. Conroy, E. Darlot, Harry Downes, W. Downes, E. Francis, R. Hamilton, A. Hill, G. Hope, George Houston, C. Jenvey, S. Lamrock, H. Lawrence, E. Longden, William Manifold, John Macdonald, McDonnell, Murdoch McKenzie, Jim McKie, D. McLeod, James Morris, B. Murphy, Henry Oakley, W. Pettigrew, F. Pitcher, Charles Power, Frank Power, Herb Power, Thomas Power, Dave Rannard, L. Roberts, James Robertson, Charles Rosser, John Rosser, Rowe, Bob Sibley, Bob Sillett, Bob Simson, Billy Stiffe, J. Swallow, C. Swyer, Herbert Syme, Sam Thewlis, John Watson, Fred Wedd, James Wilson
Billy Stiffe 14, Bob Sibley 9, Murdoch McKenzie 8, Dave Aitken 6, Charles Baker 5, John Macdonald 4, Herbert Syme 4, W. Boys 3, Frank Power 3, Harry Downes 2, A. Hill 2, Henry Oakley 2, Charles Power 2, Herb Power 2, L. Roberts 2, John Adams 1, Fred Baker 1, Bob Booth, R. Hamilton, S. Lamrock, EW Longden 1, J. Morris 1, Power 1, Dave Rannard 1, John Watson 1, James Wilson 1
|21 May||West Melbourne||UNKNOWN||?|
|18 June||South Melbourne||3-0|
Vice-President 'Foster' may be a misspelling of Forrester. Some sources have Stiffe kicking 16 goals.
Queen's Birthday May game vs Ballarat may not have taken place.
The Argus - 02/04/1881
The Herald - 22/06/1881
Sydney Mail - 16/07/1881
The Argus - 14/04/1882