Wells usually played as a centreman or rover. During the 1969 season Wells played in the thirds, seconds and senior Melbourne sides in successive weeks. He finished runner-up in the 1972 Brownlow Medal and equal fourth in 1976. Wells also won Melbourne's best and fairest award in both 1971 and 1976.
The 1980 season was his last for Melbourne and he crossed mid year to Carlton where he attempted to finish his career with a premiership. He was a member of Carlton's 1981 premiership side.