Coach: Norm Smith
Captain: Ron Barassi
Finishing Position: 2nd
Best and Fairest: Ron Barassi
Leading Goalkicker: Robert B Johnson (36)
Best First Year Player: Brian Roet
|Matches||Ladder||Playing List||Best and Fairest||Reserves||Under 19s||Fourths|
The Demons started the season after their 11th premiership as the team all the clubs were aiming to beat, and for the first time since 1954 they faltered and failed to finish on top of the ladder.
Before the season the league altered the recruiting district boundaries and Melbourne were left with the Lonsdale, Latrobe, Gipps and Albert wards of the City of Melbourne as well as the city of Prahran, East Ward of the City of Caulfield and the North and Centre Wards of the City of Moorabbin. With so many recruits to choose from, they extended the senior list from 34 to 40 - the largest of any league club.
During the off-season the Demon hierarchy had employed athletic coach Franz Strampfl to conduct off-season training in an attempt to boost their players' physical strength, agility and general fitness. He concentrated on their physical fitness while professional running Frank Adams conducted sprint training.
Once they got on the practice field, forced to use the Old Scotch ground as the MCG surface had been relaid, they suffered a rash of injuries. Senior players Ray Nilsson, Denis Jones and Trevor Johnson all suffered broken bones.
Despite missing out on top spot they were gifted the chance to play a finals series against Hawthorn, St Kilda and Footscray - sides that had won a grand total of one premiership between them. A loss to Hawthorn sent the Hawks straight to the Grand Final and pitted the Demons against Footscray where they lost and were out of the competition in straight sets.
On the October end of season trip of New Zealand the club played two exhibition intra-club matches, one in Auckland and one in Wellington.
Richard Taylor and Bert Chadwick were Melbourne's delegates to the VFL. During the year they voted against a proposal to reduce the number of players on the ground to 16, and abstained from a vote regarding unlimited use of the interchange. The reduction in players lost unanimously, and the interchange proposal was defeated 6-5. Unlimited interchange was back on the agenda a week later, and this time Melbourne voted in favour but the 6-6 result was defeated on the casting vote of the chair of the VFL Permit Committee.
During the year the club also introduced a motion to the VFL in support of league clubs paying transfer fees when they took players from country sides. The idea had been put to the Melbourne committee by former coach Checker Hughes who suggested a payment of £100 to major country clubs and £50 to minor country clubs.
Chadwick resigned as delegate on 19 January 1962 and was replaced by Tom Trumble.
At the end of the year the Demons took the first overseas trip by a VFL club, going to New Zealand.
|16||Robert B Johnson||19||36|
Best and Fairest
Outstanding Service - Tassie Johnson, Bryan Kenneally, Brian Roet, Geoff Tunbridge
Best Clubman - John Lord
Special Trophy - Laurie Mithen
|Round 17||Bernie Massey||Striking||2 matches|
1961 Reserves season
Best and Fairest - Bruce Leslie
Second Best and Fairest - Gavin Mooney
Equal third best and fairest - Mike Collins and John Leahy
Outstanding Service - Tony Bourke, Bob Turner, Garry Ireland.
Best and Fairest - George Hill
Second Best and Fairest - G. Fraser
Most Determined Player - T. Johnson
Outstanding Service - D. Kirby, N. Corrigan, Ken Emselle, Tom Ingpen
Under 19s Tribunal
|Round 5||Ian Petty||Striking||6 matches|
Best and Fairest - Graeme Jacobs
Second Best and Fairest - P. Armitage
Outstanding Service - Alan Schultz, R. Keane, J. Miller
Age - 08/11/1960
Age - 25/03/1961
Age - 28/03/1961
Age - 05/05/1961
Age - 12/05/1961
Age - 24/05/1961
Football Record R8 1961
Age - 09/09/1961
Sun - 04/10/1961