DOB: 22 May 1946
Number: 15 (1965-1976)
Captain: 1973 - 1976
Best and Fairest: 1972 - 1974
Victorian state representative - 1968, 1972, 1975 (4 games)
Night Series winner 1971
Life Member - 1975
Team of the Century emergency
150 Heroes selection
MFC Hall of Fame - 2003
Games: 226 (266 total)
Goals: 160 (174 total)
Statistical categories led
Most games in jumper 15
Signed two weeks before the 1964 Grand Final after being rejected by Collingwood, Richmond and St Kilda, Norm Smith initially considered Alves too lightweight to play VFL football. He'd trained with the seniors earlier in the year and impressed, but the coach sent him home from his first official training session for acting "like a chook with its head chopped off". Alves persisted, showing up uninvited to training the next night, and Smith set him the task of putting on a stone of weight before the start of the 1965 pre-season. He won a spot on the list and broke into the side early in the year.
One of the best on ground in his debut, Alves went on to play 13 games in his rookie season. Melbourne finished second last with just four wins in 1966 but Alves was one of only four players to appear in all twenty games for the year. The winger soon became one of his side's best, finishing second in the 1967 Best and Fairest, and winning the Outstanding Service Trophy for 1968, before being appointed vice-captain in 1969.
Alves won his second Outstanding Service Trophy in 1970, and was chosen by Football Life magazine as one of the 'wingers of the 70s'. Robert Flower later named Alves on the wing of his greatest ever side, saying Alves "was elusive, skilled and clever - and had a decent measure of rat cunning to boot". After winning his first Best and Fairest in 1972, Alves was appointed captain the next year but struggled when coach Ian Ridley tried to play him as a second rover instead of on the wing. He was back into his customary position late in that year, and added a second Best and Fairest in 1974.
In 1975, Alves lost the Brownlow Medal by just one vote, but had more issues with coaches in 1976. Melbourne was having their best season in over a decade but Alves fell out with Bob Skilton, and when Skilton was reappointed coach for 1975 he announced he wouldn't play for the club again. The Demons refused Alves permission to talk to Carlton, Collingwood, Essendon and North Melbourne but he was happy to sit out of the game rather than rejoin them, saying "I can no longer play with Melbourne on principle, and if it means I don't play football, well that's that".
After the Demons relented, a proposed trade to Carlton for Robert Walls fell through and the ex-captain settled on North Melbourne as his preferred destination. North offered a cash payment and senior players including Sam Kekovich but the Demons demanded $40,000 or one of star trio Keith Grieg, Wayne Schimmelbusch or David Dench. No deal was agreed before the 1977 pre-season, leaving Alves playing in a VFA practice match with Sandringham while waiting for a clearance. He remained on the sidelines for Round 1, with Melbourne issuing a token suspension citing criticism of the club and refusal to train. They also complained to the league that the Kangaroos had interviewed Alves without permission. North was fined $2000, but got more than their money back when the VFL ruled they were entitled to sign Alves at no cost. He debuted in Round 7, and became the latest ex-Demon to play in a premiership at another club.
Alves played in North's losing 1978 Grand Final side, before retiring at the end of 1979. He rejected offers from VFA and interstate clubs to play on and remained at North Melbourne as a runner and skills coach under Ron Barassi. In 1980 he was assistant coach of an ACT side that beat Victoria's B team.
When Barassi returned to the Demons in 1981, Alves followed him as an assistant coach, remaining at the club until the late 80s and sitting on the match committee from 1982 to 1985. He filled in as Reserves coach in Round 11, 1985 when Ray Jordon was away coaching a junior representative side. Alves moved into the media before spending four years as a specialist coach at St. Kilda. He expressed interest in the Melbourne job when John Northey left after 1992, but remained with the Saints and was promoted to their senior role in 1994. Alves led his side to a losing Grand Final in 1997 but was sacked after a losing finals effort against the Dees the next year.
Alves resisted an offer from an group opposed to Joseph Gutnick to return to the club and run for president against Gutnick in 2001. He returned to the media and was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia in 2008.
His brother Mark also played for the Demons.
Also shown as from Seaford. May have also played 1977 pre-season games with Frankston and Geelong West.
Age - 27/05/1964, 31/01/1973, 26/07/1973, 03/11/1976, 25/11/1976, 20/01/1977, 21/01/1977, 16/03/1977, 07/04/1977, 14/04/1977, 21/04/1977, 13/09/1982, 29/05/2001
Inside Football - 01/07/1972, 02/07/1981, 18/07/1985
Football Record 2000 Grand Final