1876 Victorian football season

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1876 Victorian football premiership season
Premiers Melbourne
← 1875

The 1876 Victorian football season was an Australian rules football competition played during the winter of 1876. The season consisted of matches between metropolitan and provincial football clubs in the colony of Victoria. The premier metropolitan club was Melbourne, and the premier provincial club was Barwon.

This was the final season of decentralised administration of football in Victoria; the Victorian Football Association was formed the following year to provide a committee-based approach to the administration of the sport.

1876 premierships[edit]

Six metropolitan clubs participated in senior football during the 1876 season: Albert-park, Carlton, Carlton Imperial, East Melbourne, Melbourne and St Kilda. As had been the case for a few years, Carlton and Melbourne were considered the dominant clubs in the city, so the premier club was decided based entirely on the head-to-head record between the clubs; in their four meetings, Melbourne won two, Carlton won one, and one was drawn, so Melbourne was recognised as the premier club for the season.[1]

In the provincial competition, Barwon was the premier team, and was the winner of the Geelong, Ballarat and Wimmera District Challenge Cup. Barwon was presented with the cup after defeating Geelong 2–1 on 29 July.[2][3]

Club senior records[edit]

The below table is set of results for senior clubs during the 1876 season. The list shows the record across all matches, including senior, junior and intercolonial matches. The clubs are listed in the order in which they were ranked in the Australasian newspaper. Other than announcing the top three place-getters, there was no formal process by which the clubs were ranked, so the below order should be considered indicative only, particularly since the fixturing of matches was not standardised.

1876 Metropolitan Clubs' Results
1 Melbourne (P) 17 10 2 5 33 15
2 Carlton 20 15 2 3 54 12
3 Albert-park 10 6 2 2 18 7
St Kilda 15 5 5 5 17 18
East Melbourne 13 3 4 6 18 17
Carlton Imperial 8 2 6 0 16 18
Key: P = Played, W = Won, L = Lost, D = Drawn, GF = Goals For, GA = Goals Against, (P) = Premiers Source:[1]
1876 Provincial Clubs' Results
Barwon (P) 8 6 2 0 19 9
Geelong 11 3 5 3 16 16
Geelong Imperial 5 1 2 2 3 5
Bendigo 4 2 2 0 3 8
Ararat 3 1 2 0 3 8
Ballarat 11 6 2 3 19 10
Maryborough 9 4 4 1 16 10
Key: P = Played, W = Won, L = Lost, D = Drawn, GF = Goals For, GA = Goals Against, (P) = Premiers Source:[3]

Other awards[edit]

  • William Dedman (Carlton) was the colony's leading goalkicker in 1876 kicking eighteen goals.[1]
  • Albert-park won the Second Twenties' Challenge Cup.[3]
  • Williamstown was the leading Junior club in the colony, and won the Junior Challenge Cup.[3]

Albert-park cum North Melbourne[edit]

In May, shortly before the start of the season, the North Melbourne Football Club was disbanded, and most senior players and many members of the club joined the Albert-park Football Club, which was itself in a weakened position due to the departure of many players.[4] There was no formal amalgamation between the two clubs, but Albert-park took on a strong North Melbourne character, fielding more former North Melbourne players than Albert-park players, and many fans openly cheered for North Melbourne rather than Albert-park[5] – and some in the media came to describe the club as Albert-park cum North Melbourne. The arrangement lasted only for one year, and the Hotham Football Club was re-established in North Melbourne in 1877.[6]

Disputed match between Carlton and Melbourne[edit]

The result of the final match for the season between Carlton and Melbourne for the season, held at the Madeline St reserve on 23 September, was disputed between the two clubs, owing to a dispute over whether the first half goal scored by Melbourne's F. Baker was valid. Baker had taken a mark right on the goal line and quickly kicked the ball between the posts, but Carlton players protested that Baker had illegally pushed Carlton defender Nudd out of the marking contest. According to the Australasian reporter Peter Pindar, who reported the details of a conversation he had with field umpire Searcey after the game, Searcey agreed that Nudd had been illegally pushed and was about to annul the goal (which the goal umpire had already awarded) and award a free kick when the Carlton players began to protest; however, he was offended by the language that the Carlton players had used toward him, so he instead left the ground immediately, without having resolved the issue of the goal.[7] There was a delay of fifteen minutes before a new umpire, Mr Bride, could be found, and while Carlton unsuccessfully protested the awarding of the goal. Each club scored one additional goal during the rest of the game, resulting in a 2–1 victory for Melbourne.[8] Following the match, the Carlton Football Club maintained its position of disputing Baker's goal, and claimed the match as a 1–1 draw; and with no formal means of resolving the dispute, both clubs maintained their positions, the point that the two clubs reported different results for the match in their annual reports.[9] But, the major newspapers all considered the match to be a Melbourne victory, and Melbourne was declared the premier club for the season, having beaten Carlton twice (including this match) and lost to Carlton only once during the season.[1]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d Peter Pindar (7 October 1876). "The Football Season of 1876 – Part 1". The Australasian. XXI (549). Melbourne, VIC. p. 460.
  2. ^ "Saturday's Sports – football". The Argus. Melbourne, VIC. 31 July 1876. p. 6.
  3. ^ a b c d Peter Pindar (21 October 1876). "The Football Season of 1876 – Part 2". The Australasian. XXI (551). Melbourne, VIC. p. 524.
  4. ^ Tonball (26 May 1876). "Football". North Melbourne Advertiser. North Melbourne, VIC. p. 3.
  5. ^ "Football: Melbourne v. Albert Park". Leader. Melbourne, VIC. 3 June 1876. p. 13.
  6. ^ Nomad (9 July 1877). "Football Notes". Leader. Melbourne, VIC. p. 12.
  7. ^ Peter Pindar (30 September 1876). "Football Gossip". The Australasian. XXI (548). Melbourne, VIC. p. 428.
  8. ^ "Saturday's sports – football". The Argus. Melbourne, VIC. p. 7.
  9. ^ Peter Pindar (5 May 1877). "Football Gossip". The Australasian. XXII (579). Melbourne, VIC. p. 556.