Coach: Allan La Fontaine
Captain: Denis Cordner
Finishing Position: 12th (Last)
Best and Fairest: Noel McMahen
Leading Goalkicker: Bob McKenzie (40)
Best First Year Player: John Beckwith

Matches Ladder Playing List Best and Fairest Lightning Premiership Seconds Thirds

Having lost many of his best players from 1950, including the entire backline, its first ruck and star rover, Melbourne declared 1951 to be a rebuilding year.

With the youngest MFC side in years at his disposal Allan La Fontaine blooded 18 first year players in his last season as coach, many of which would play an important part in their resurgence later in the decade. Only six of the 1948 premiership team remained, and it took until round 7 for the Demons to send out a side without a first game player.

The 103 point round 9 loss to Footscray was the club's worst in 32 years and the fans turned on their players and coaching staff with a vengeance. Secretary Jim Cardwell was forced to hose down rumours of a rift between La Fontaine and his players, but it was clear that not all was well at the club. A player anonymously contacted a newspaper with an off-the-record defence of his side, claiming that their form was due to training on an MCG surface that he been a quagmire all season. The club had to hose down rumours of dissension amongst players in the press.

Despite the poor performance in games that mattered the Demons did well in that season's Lightning Premiership, losing the final to Collingwood in extra time.

With the club rock bottom last, Cardwell made a mid-season approach to Norm Smith asking him to return as coach. Smith refused to discuss the issue before the end of the year but left the prospect of a comeback open.

Melbourne finished three games last, their fifth wooden spoon being the first since 1923. For the second time the coaching vote came down to La Fontaine vs Smith, and in a twist of fate this time it was Smith who the role by a solitary vote.

Before the start of the season the VFL altered permit rules to allow players to join any league club where their father had played more than 50 games.

Melbourne's VFL delegates were Bert Chadwick and Wally Scott.

Premiership Season

1 EssendonLOSS76-86
2 CollingwoodLOSS57-106
3 FitzroyLOSS60-84
4 St. KildaLOSS91-98
5 South MelbourneLOSS78-96
6 CarltonWIN78-58
7 RichmondLOSS67-81
8 North MelbourneLOSS48-93
9 FootscrayLOSS49-152
10 GeelongLOSS49-84
11 HawthornLOSS86-120
12 EssendonLOSS54-74
13 CollingwoodLOSS82-129
14 FitzroyLOSS45-69
15 St. KildaLOSS48-60
16 South MelbourneLOSS106-125
17 CarltonLOSS61-106
18 RichmondLOSS95-124


South Melbourne81993.034
North Melbourne701185.428
St. Kilda501382.220

Lightning Premiership

1 Hawthorn WIN4-1
QF Footscray WIN8-0
SF Richmond WIN20-14
F Collingwood LOSS12-6

Playing List

1 Denis Cordner 167
2 Bob McKenzie 1440
3 Geoff Collins 140
4 Ken Christie 106
5 Ian McLean 70
6 Kevin Webb 44
7 Eddie Jackson 171
8 Doug Heywood 101
9 Alan Daly 73
10 Lance Arnold 180
12 Stuart Spencer 1314
13 Alan Krause 31
14 Robert B Johnson 120
15 Geoff Mason 40
15 Ralph Lane 80
15 Terry Pierce 10
16 George Bickford 164
17 Geoff McGivern 124
18 Nevin Paynter 40
19 Colin Love 65
20 Tom McLean 111
21 John Cordner 60
22 John Ferguson 20
23 George O'Keeffe 91
24 Ray Hutchins 40
25 Ron McMahon 51
26 Noel Clarke 1325
27 Bob Rowse 60
28 Bill Smeaton 1120
29 Ken McKaige 60
30 John Beckwith 1511
32 Len Dockett 104
33 Jack Thomson 1714
34 Ralph Lane 80
35 Noel McMahen 181
36 Keith Robinson 150
37 Mike Woods 162

Best and Fairest

1st Noel McMahen
2nd Lance Arnold
3rd Denis Cordner

Other Awards
Most Improved - Stuart Spencer
Outstanding service - Geoff Collins, Eddie Jackson
Special trophy - Keith Robinson

Round 15 George O'Keeffe Attempted Striking 2 matches
Round 15 Bob McKenzie Striking 4 matches


1951 Seconds season

Essendon 1602185.864
Carlton 1305113.152
Footscray 1215128.350
Geelong 1125130.848
Richmond 1107121.044
St Kilda 90998.136
North Melbourne 819104.134
South Melbourne701179.128


1951 Thirds season
Captain - Tom Ferguson
Best and Fairest - Ken McKay

Essendon 150160
Carlton 141158
North Melbourne 140256
Richmond 91638
Footscray 72734
St Kilda311216
South Melbourne10154

For Thirds ladder, draw total shows abandoned matches as draws for Carlton, Richmond, Footscray (one of two), Melbourne, St Kilda and Hawthorn.

A Dan Sullivan may have been on the committee.

Argus - 22/03/1951
Argus - 27/06/1951
Sporting Globe - 30/06/1951

Created by Supermercado. Last Modification: Wednesday 27 February 2019 16:31:56 AEDT by Supermercado. (Version 34)

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