Champion of the Colony
The Champion of the Colony Award refers to a list that was compiled in the 1940s and 1950s by Australian rules football historian C. C. (Cecil Clarence) Mullen (1895-1983) for Mullen's Footballers' Australian Almanac in 1950 and 1951, and a History of Australian Rules Football he wrote in 1958.
According to Mullen's 1950 almanac, the Champion of the Colony was an annual award was originally based on votes by club captains and later by Melbourne's leading football journalists, which was the accepted historical interpretation of the title for many decades.
More recent research has failed to uncover any contemporary evidence of such an award having existed, and it is now believed that the list was compiled entirely by Mullen, based off newspaper reports that he had collected over many years.
The final year for each list used by Mullen varies throughout his works: the 1950 Almanac finishes in 1949, the 1951 Almanac finishes in 1950, and the 1958 history book in 1940.
A fourth list that is claimed to be based on Mullen's work finishing in 1945 has been used since 2003 in official Australian Football League (AFL) publications, with the 2017 AFL Season Guide noting the newspapers that Mullen used in compiling his list. It should be noted that the list as compiled by Mullen contained factual errors, and the different versions of the list contain anomalies.
List of Champions of the Colony
* Player also won the Brownlow Medal that year.
1 While Tom Wills is listed as champion in 1856, he did not arrive back in Victoria until 23 December 1856, having spent the last seven years in England and Ireland.
2 The lists ending in 1940, 1949 and 1950 have the 1888 winner as Denis "Dinny" Mckay of South Melbourne, but the list ending in 1945 has his teammate Peter Burns as the 1888 winner.
3 While Hugh Gavin of Essendon is listed as champion in 1903, he did not play for Essendon that year, but for Boulder City in the Goldfields of Western Australia.
4 The lists ending in 1940, 1949 and 1950 have the 1941 winner as Ted Cordner of Melbourne and the 1942 winner as Jack Dyer of Richmond, but the list ending in 1945 has Wally Buttsworth of Essendon as the 1941 winner and Ted Cordner as the 1942 winner.
- The Almanac 1950
- The Champion Of The Colony never existed
- The Champions That Never Were
- Wills arrived in Melbourne on board the Oneida which had departed from Southampton
- "The Argus.". The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848–1954). Melbourne, Vic.: National Library of Australia. 24 December 1856. p. 4. Retrieved 7 May 2011.
- "FOOTBALL.". The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848–1954). Melbourne, Vic.: National Library of Australia. 12 May 1904. p. 7. Retrieved 7 May 2011.