1873 Victorian football premiership season
(2nd premiership)
← 1872
1874 →

The 1873 Victorian football season was an Australian rules football competition played during the winter of 1873. The season consisted of matches between metropolitan and provincial football clubs in the colony of Victoria. The premier club was Carlton.

1873 premiership

Four metropolitan clubs participated in senior football during the 1873 season: Albert-park, Carlton, Melbourne and University, but since University played too few games, its record is not shown below.

Notable for its absence was South Yarra; after being a powerhouse of the 1860s, the club folded in July 1873. Many of its players went to the nearby and newly established junior club, St Kilda, which was elevated to senior ranks in 1874.

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, Carlton won two and two were drawn, so Carlton was recognised as the premier club for the season.[1]

Club senior records

The below table is set of results for senior clubs during the 1873 season. The list shows the record across all matches (senior, junior and intercolonial), but excludes unfinished matches played by Carlton against Albert-park and University.

1873 Metropolitan Clubs' Results
1 Carlton (P) 12 5 0 7 12 6
2 Melbourne 16 9 2 5 20 6
Albert-park 11 4 4 3
Key: P = Played, W = Won, L = Lost, D = Drawn, GF = Goals For, GA = Goals Against, (P) = Premiers Source:[1]

Geelong was the strongest provincial team, being undefeated in provincial matches and suffering its only loss of the season against Melbourne. According to the official tables published in the Argus from 1889[2] and in the Football Record from 1912–1923, Geelong was the third-placed team in the Victorian premiership in 1873.[3]

Of the long list of junior clubs to compete at relatively even standard – Carlton Imperial, Collingwood, East Melbourne, Essendon, Hawthorn, North Melbourne, Richmond, St Kilda, Southern, South-park, Studley-park and Williamstown – there was no clear premier club, with none managing an unbeaten record in matches against the other juniors.[1] The numbers advantage to juniors clubs in matches at odds against senior clubs was reduced in 1873, with the junior club usually fielding eighteen men to the senior club's twenty.[4]

Notable events


  1. ^ a b c d e Fairplay (1 November 1875). "Football – review of the season". The Australasian. Melbourne, VIC. p. 555.
  2. ^ "The Football Premiership". The Argus. Melbourne, VIC. 23 September 1889. p. 5.
  3. ^ Caroline Wilson (20 June 2014). "History of the AFL could be turned on its head". The Age. Melbourne, VIC. Retrieved 18 October 2014.
  4. ^ Fairplay (28 June 1873). "Football chatter". The Australasian. Vol. XIV, no. 378. Melbourne, VIC. p. 812.