DOB: 8 November 1938
A champion for South Melbourne, the three time Brownlow Medallist who finished his career with the Swans under Norm Smith was appointed Melbourne coach on November 26, 1973 for a period of two years with an option for three. It was believed that he recieved about $8000 per year.
A former playing coach of the Swans, Skilton beat out nine other candidates for the job after a year spent with Port Melbourne in the VFA where he won a best-and-fairest, and finished third in the Liston Medal playing just 11 games. South initially demanded the clearance of ruckmen Peter Keenan and John Clennett for Skilton's signature, but neither player ended up joining the Swans.
Having played just one final during his career he was keen to atone for this as a coach but despite showing flashes of brilliance he never managed to take the Demons into September.
The closest they came was 1976. On the last day of the season a win over Collingwood and minor premiers Carlton beating Footscray would see them finish fifth. The Demons did their bit but inexplicably Footscray managed to draw with the Blues and tip Melbourne into sixth. Skilton was reappointed as coach for another year despite some interest in poaching Richmond's Tom Hafey but 1977, though was a step backwards and the club finished 11th after losing their first seven games.
Before Round 16, 1977 Skilton announced that he would step down as coach at the end of the year. He claimed that he had intended on giving the game away to spend more time with his family at the end of 1976 but that players had convinced him to go on. He cited a lack of dedication and effort from players for his decision to retire. Ex-player and committeeman Dennis Jones replaced him as coach.