Image There is much confusion over the origin of the fourths, and various competitions which had the name.

The Melbourne Boys League was reformed in 1933, and funded by the VFL in the 1940s. It had various grades but the widest age range was the 15-17 group. Teams of league clubs such as Footscray, North Melbourne, South Melbourne, Collingwood - as well as the Hawthorn thirds - played in the 40's.

In 1950 the league abandoned all grades for younger players and began concentrating solely on Under 17's. Melbourne FC fielded its first Fourth XVIII in 1953.

In 1970 and 1971 (at least) the Demons fourths played at East Bentleigh in the Melbourne Boys League. At this point the side had a sister club called Moorabbin United.

1977 appears to be the last year the competition was played. From the 70's onwards it was known as the Under 17's. Melbourne supported a Hawthorn motion that a league Under 17's competition be adopted but it was not passed.

An Under 17 team is shown as playing against a touring Irish side in 1983, though this is likely to have one of the Demons' scholarship sides rather than a team from an organised league.

Seasons (incomplete

1950 1953 1954 1956
1961 1968
1970 1971 1972 1973 1974 1975 1976 1977

Honours (incomplete)
Premierships - 1964, 1968, 1969, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1976, 1977
Grand Finalists - 1956, 1970, 1975


Roy McKay 1953-54
Ray Hutchins 1955-56
Norm Cain 1957-1964
Frank Adams 1965-1966
Unknown 1967
Colin Coutts 1968
Colin Lobb 1969
John Osborne 1970
Gordon Duff 1971-1977

Best and Fairest

1954 Unknown
1955 Ron Dudley
1956 Neil Campbell
1957 Malcolm Innes
1958 Malcolm Innes
1959 Frank Leahy
1960 Herbie Matthews
1961 Graeme Jacobs
1962 M. Brodie and T. Date
1963 R. Sheers and W. Adams
1964 J. Sinclair
1965 Greg Smith
1966 K. Williams
1967 A. Hollings
1968 Jim Theodore
1969 L. Blackburn
1970 Ray McQueen
1971 Barry Lierich
1972 Robbie Flower
1973 Shane Young
1974 Steve Hilton
1975 Andrew McKaige
1976 Kelvin Richards
1977 Tony Elshaug

May have been related to the Prahran City Football Club that was under Melbourne's control from 1936.

The Melbourne United and Melbourne Rovers clubs who played in the competition in the 1940's were not related to the MFC.

1957 Football Record shows Melbourne playing South Melbourne in the Grand Final on 24 August at Punt Road, but a later edition says the GF was Richmond vs South.

The 1960 Grand Final Football Record claimed that 63 Fourths premierships had been won, and that Melbourne had four of them.

V. Johns is listed as 4th Eighteen Manager in 1962.

Some articles make reference to league sides fielding fifths (Under 16's) teams. It is not certain if Melbourne participated, but it has been confirmed there was no fifths side in 1970 or 1971.

Richmond joined in 1951, Fitzroy in 1963 and Hawthorn played until 1968.

Sporting Globe - 01/04/1933
"Melbourne Boys' League" - The Argus 21/05/1942
The Argus - 01/04/1950
Football Record R1 1953
"Irish not so green" - The Age 27/07/1983

Created by supermercado. Last Modification: Sunday 04 March 2018 00:24:40 AEDT by Supermercado. (Version 60)


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