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 Tribunal Seconds Thirds

After losing a number of premierships stars after the 1948 victory, Melbourne managed to stay in the top half of the ladder for another two years before dropping back to the bottom of the ladder. The club realised the gravity of the challenge, declaring 1951 to be a rebuilding year in advance. With only eight of the most recent premiership side available, Allan La Fontaine blooded 18 first year players. It took until Round 7 to field a side without a first game player.

Many of the players who joined the club went on to be stars of the future, but after a 103 point loss to Footscray, fans turned on players and coaching staff with a vengeance. Secretary Jim Cardwell had to publicly hose down rumours of a rift between coach and players, and between the playing group itself. One player anonymously contacted a newspaper to defend the side, blaming this issues on using the quagmire MCG for training.

With Melbourne sitting last, Jim Cardwell made a mid-season approach to Norm Smith to return as coach at the end of the year. The Fitzroy incumbent refused to discuss the issue before the end of the year but didn't dismiss the idea of a return. After finishing three games last, their first wooden spoon since 1923, the coaching role was put to a vote. The choice again came down to Allan La Fontaine vs Smith, and this time Smith won by a single vote.

A Lightning Premiership was played, with Melbourne losing the final to Collingwood in extra time.

The first father/son rule was introduced before the season, with permit rules altered to allow players to freely join any league club where their father had played more than 50 games, regardless of where they lived. Maximum match payments were increased to £5 per match, and the McClelland Trophy was introduced for best combined performance across the grades.

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

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, 27/06/1951
Sporting Globe - 30/06/1951

AFL Tables page
Wikipedia page

Created by Supermercado. Last Modification: Friday 13 October 2023 19:22:22 AEDT by Supermercado. (Version 35)

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