Captains - Henry Harrison, N. Neal, Jack Conway
Treasurer/Secretary - Richard Wardill
Committee - George Nichols, A. Hardcastle, M. Byrne, Henry Harrison, William Hammersley
Leading goalkicker: Andrew Fleming - 3

Melbourne entered the new season in a good position, as holders of the cup and out of the debt. At the Annual Meeting, Henry Harrison called for players to practice more together and objected to them appearing for more than one side during the season. Ironically he had played guest games with several clubs in recent years, and continued to do so.

On May 5 representatives of the major clubs gathered to review the rules. Henry Harrison and Richard Wardill were Melbourne's representative at the talks, with Carlton, Royal Park and South Yarra also present. The changes standardised the distance between goalposts as seven yards, added a rule where boundary lines must be marked by posts hammered into the ground and clarified the concept of running with the ball by demanding players bounce it every 'five or six yards.' Players continued to take advantage of the clause that suggested they could run as far as it took to kick the ball.

New rules for the Challenge Cup stated that clubs had to have a minimum of 16 players on the field whenever the cup was being defended. Clubs had to defend within 10 days of being challenged unless they already had a fixture arranged, and any club who lost a challenge had to wait for all the major clubs to play the champion before they received another go. A challenge to the Sydney club was considered but the match didn't occur.

The first scratch match of the season was played on Saturday 19 May between teams chosen by Henry Harrison and Neal. It was postponed from the previous Saturday due to hot weather. Further matches were played on 26 and 30 May before the team was chosen to play the first Challenge Cup match of the season.

South Yarra won the Challenge Cup off Melbourne in the first game of the season. Melbourne had the chance to win it back in the last game of the season but lost to them.

The club held 'Australians vs The World'' scratch matches on Saturday 7 July and Saturday 8 September. At the time of the first match the club had 56 members, and the match ended in a nil-all draw.

A match for the Challenge Cup against South Yarra which was scheduled for Saturday 4 August was cancelled due to rain and another Australians vs the World match was played. The squads were:

Harrison (c), Aitken, Bruford, Colville, D. Campbell, Campbell, Dinwoodie, Fleming, Gates, Gaunson, Hurst, Lock, McPherson, Snodgrass, A. Ogilvy, Tait, T. White, Woolley, Waugh, G. Waugh and Tracey.

Other nations
T. Ireland (c), Bennie, Cotter, Copeland, Davidson, Finlay, Gair, Horan, Hepburn, Hannaford, Hewitt, J De C Ireland, R. Ireland, Kennedy, Michie, Nicholls, Neal, Perraton, Rankin, Hardcastle and Serrell

The South Yarra game was rescheduled for 11 August but didn't happen, eventually played on 25 August


2 June South Yarra LOSS0-2
16 June Civil Service DRAW1-0
23 June Banks WIN2-0
30 June Carlton DRAW1-0
14 July South Yarra DRAW1-0
21 July Carlton WIN2-0
18 August Carlton WIN2-0
25 August South Yarra DRAW1-1
15 September South Yarra LOSS0-2


William Aitken, Wilton Barfoot, W. Barker, John Bennie, FH. Bruford, James Byrne, Donald Campbell, Jimmy Campbell, Willie Campbell, John Colville, Harry Conway, Jack Conway, George Dana, Davidson, Dinwoodie, William Finlay, Andrew Fleming, William Freeman, A. Gates, Bill Gorman, Tom Gorman, Harry Guy, Henry Harrison, Tom Hepburn, J. Hewitt, Frank Hillsden, James Horan, William Hurst, de Courcey Ireland, James Ireland, Richard Ireland, Tom Ireland, George Kennedy, Locke, James MacPherson, Theophilis Marshall, Archibald Michie, N. Neal, George Nichols, David Ogilvy, James Ogilvy, William Perraton, William Riggall, George Scott, Thomas Serrell, John Shiels, E. Snodgrass, Eugene Stephens, James Stodart, Richard Treacy, Richard Wardill, George Waugh, Robert Waugh, Thomas Whyte, Henry Woolley


Andrew Fleming 3, George Kennedy 2, Harry Conway 1, Bill Gorman 1, de Courcey Ireland 1, R. Waugh 1

Some sources list Henry Harrison as the "Champion of the Colony" for 1866, but there is some dispute over whether this award actually existed.

M. Byrne is probably James Byrne. Ben Wardill may have also played.

Age - 02/05/1866
Herald - 02/05/1866
Bell's Life - 05/05/1866
Australasian - 19/05/1866
Bell's Life in Victoria - 19/05/1866
Sydney Morning Herald - 23/05/1866
Age - 24/05/1866
Australasian - 26/05/1866
Argus - 30/05/1866
Australasian - 02/06/1866
Australasian - 07/07/1866
Herald - 07/07/1866
Argus - 09/07/1866
Herald - 04/08/1866
Bell's Life - 11/08/1866
Age - 11/08/1866
Argus - 13/08/1866
Age - 25/08/1866
"Origins of Australian Football: Volume 1" by Mark Pennings

Blueseum 1866 page

Created by Supermercado. Last Modification: Tuesday 29 August 2023 11:36:59 AEST by Supermercado. (Version 38)

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