Number: 35 (1946-1956)
Premiership Player - 1948, 1955, 1956
Grand Final team - 1954
Best and Fairest - 1951
Team of the Century - Half back flank
Victorian State player - 1952, 1954 (4 games)
Seconds Premiership Player 1949
Life Member - 1955
MFC Hall of Fame - 2001
150 Heroes selection
Recruited from Federal League side Mordialloc, McMahen had the choice of four league clubs. With his childhood heroes Richmond not interested, McMahen initially leant towards Hawthorn before Melbourne secretary Jack Chessell convinced he and his family that the Demons were the right club to join.
Breaking into the senior side midway through 1946, McMahen missed the rest of the year after an attack of Bell's Palsy. After sitting out the first few weeks of 1948 with an ankle injury, McMahen played in that year's premiership. By 1949 he was back in the Seconds, where he played in another flag. Disgruntled at not being considered a first team player McMahen accepted a job as captain/coach of Camberwell in the VFA but was talked out of leaving by ex-player Francis Vine.
Early in his career McMahen was tried as ruck, full forward, on the wing, and in defence before finding his spot on the half-back flank in 1950. From there he was a permanent member of the senior side, winning the 1951 Best and Fairest and playing for Victoria in 1952.
McMahen was appointed vice-captain in 1953, and after playing through much of 1954 with an injury he was promoted to captain for 1955 after incumbent Geoff Collins left to join Heyfield. He'd missed out on the captain's job in 1954 because the club thought he was going to apply for a country coaching role. He was linked with a move to VFA side Moorabbin at the end of 1954 but stayed with Melbourne. In 1955 he led the premiership side and was selected on a half back flank in the Sporting Life 'Team of the Year'. Lucrative coaching offers flooded in from around the league and country, but McMahen decided to stay on another year. It was a wise decision, as he captained another premiership.
After announcing midway through 1956 that the season would be his last before joining the coaching ranks, McMahen crossed to Rochester in 1957. He turned back lucrative officers from WA, Tasmania, other VFL clubs and the VFA, leading his side to Bendigo League premierships in 1958 and 1959. Linked with coaching Carlton or North Melbourne in 1962 he instead took charge at South Melbourne and remained there for three years until 1964 - the first full-time coach of a VFL club.
He served on the club committee from 1969 to 1973 before losing a re-election bid while serving as chairman of selectors. McMahen returned to Melbourne to sit on the executive in 1975. He returned again in 1991 as Deputy Chairman to Ian Ridley and Finance Director before resigning in February 1995.
McMahen's cousin was Fitzroy's Don Furness.
Football Record 1947 states he simply 'returned to Mordialloc' with no mention of Bells Palsy.
Argus - 09/04/1948
Age - 13/04/1954
Sporting Globe - 01/09/1954
Age - 20/09/1954
Argus - 21/09/1954
Age - 23/09/1954
Age - 09/03/1955
Argus - 09/09/1955
Age - 02/03/1956
Argus - 19/07/1956
Age - 19/07/1956
Argus - 30/10/1956
Argus - 06/11/1956
Age - 03/08/1961
Age - 17/11/1973
Age - 03/12/1974