1887 VFA season
|1887 VFA premiership season|
The premiership was won by the Carlton Football Club. It was the second and last VFA premiership in the club's history.
The metropolitan membership of the Association (including Geelong) remained unchanged from the fifteen clubs which contested the premiership in 1886. The three Ballarat-based clubs (Ballarat, Ballarat Imperial and South Ballarat) also remained senior clubs; however, unlike in previous years, they were included in the premiership lists by all of the major sportswriters.
1887 VFA premiership
The premiership was won by the Carlton Football Club, which played eighteen matches for the season, winning fifteen and drawing two. The runner-up was Geelong, which won sixteen and drew three matches from twenty-one played. South Melbourne was ranked third. Although no official system for deciding the premiership existed, it was conventional for the club which suffered the fewest defeats during the season to be named premier.
On July 2, a weakened Geelong which was missing eight of its best twenty due to unavailability, suffered one of its two losses for the season; Ballarat Imperial 3.4 defeated Geelong 0.2 at the Eastern Oval in Ballarat. Geelong lodged a protest with the Association that the match should not be counted toward the premiership, contending that the match was arranged informally as part of a country trip, which occurred only because a planned tour of Adelaide was cancelled, that it was not included in the Association fixture at the beginning of the season, that the club had not expected the match to be counted, and that there were some other procedural irregularities with such details and the appointment of umpire. However, the Association had in place a stringent rule in place that any match played on a Saturday between two Association clubs would count to the premiership; and the Geelong's protest was rejected by a large majority of delegates. Had Geelong been successful in having the match discounted from the premiership, ceteris paribus, it and Carlton would each have finished with only one defeat for the season – and a playoff match would likely have been arranged to decide the premiership.
Club senior records
The below table details the records of the eighteen clubs in senior matches during the 1887 season. In addition to Saturday matches, matches played on Queen's Birthday were counted towards the premiership, but matches played on the celebration the Golden Jubilee were not counted.
The clubs are listed in the order in which they were ranked in the Sportsman newspaper. The VFA had 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; however, the top three placings were later acknowledged in publications including the Football Record and are considered official.
|Key: P = Played, W = Won, L = Lost, D = Drawn, GF = Goals For, GA = Goals Against, (P) = Premiers||Source:|
- Melbourne president Frank Grey Smith replaced James Garton as president of the Association. Garton had presided since 1882.
- Victorian Football Association/Victorian Football League History (1877-2008)
- List of VFA/VFL Premiers (1877-2007)
- History of Australian rules football in Victoria (1853-1900)
- "Opening of the Football Season". The Argus. Melbourne, VIC. 5 May 1888. p. 14.
- "Ballarat Imperial v. Geelong". The Argus. Melbourne, VIC. 4 July 1887. p. 7.
- "The Premiership". Traralgon Record. Traralgon, VIC. 16 August 1887. p. 3.
- "The Football Season". The Argus. Melbourne, VIC. 26 September 1887. p. 6.
- Follower (1 October 1887). "Football – The past season". Leader. Melbourne, VIC. p. 20.
- Caroline Wilson (20 June 2014). "History of the AFL could be turned on its head". The Age. Melbourne, VIC. Retrieved 18 October 2014.
- Goal Post (5 October 1887). "The Past Football Season". The Sportsman. Melbourne, VIC. p. 2.
- Fiddian, Marc (2004), The VFA: a history of the Victorian Football Association, 1877–1995, p. 21