|Full name||Port Melbourne Football Club|
|Competition||Victorian Football League|
|Captain(s)||Jordan Lisle / Tom O'Sullivan|
|Premierships||17 (1897, 1901, 1922, 1940, 1941, 1947, 1953, 1964, 1966, 1974, 1976, 1977, 1980, 1981, 1982, 2011, 2017)|
|Ground(s)||North Port Oval (capacity: 10,000)|
The Port Melbourne Football Club, nicknamed The Borough, is an Australian rules football club based in the inner Melbourne suburb of Port Melbourne. The club was founded in 1874 and has been competing in the Victorian Football Association/League (VFL) since 1886.
Port Melbourne is the most successful club in the VFL, having won 17 senior men's premierships, three more than its nearest rival, Williamstown. The club has maintained stand-alone status, without being in a formal reserves affiliation with a club from the Australian Football League (AFL), for all but five years of its history.
Consequently Port Melbourne is considered one of the strongest Victorian-based football clubs that does not compete in the AFL. The club will begin fielding a women's team in the VFL Women's (VFLW) competition in 2021, and in the past it has fielded premiership-winning teams in the now-defunct VFL Reserves and Development leagues.
The Borough joined the Victorian Football Association (VFA) in 1886 and has played in every season since then. In 1897, Port Melbourne was left out of the group of eight clubs which formed the breakaway VFL competition, despite having regularly been about the sixth- or seventh- best performing team onfield. Historian Terry Keenan theorised that the likeliest reason for Port Melbourne's exclusion was the reputation for the poor behaviour that its players and spectators had developed over the previous decade; its rivalry with and proximity to the influential South Melbourne Football Club and the fact that the club had supported the gate equalisation measures which the breakaway clubs were trying to escape were also speculated to have contributed to the decision.
The club, and the suburb of Port Melbourne in general, were heavily associated with wharf labourers and the union movement. During a 1928 waterfront strike in Melbourne, a wharf labourer protesting the use of scab labour was shot by police; as a result, the club banned any police from playing with them. The policy remained in place until the late 1950s.
For most, the nickname of the Borough (or Boroughs) may seem strange, but its origins lie when the team was based in what was known as the Borough of Port Melbourne. The name stuck, even after the area was upgraded to the status of town and eventually city.
Port Melbourne went on to become one of the strongest clubs in the VFA, and today still attracts some of the biggest crowds to its games. The club had very strong links with the Port Melbourne community, arguably the strongest community relationship within the VFA; local juniors often held stronger aspirations to play for Port Melbourne than for the VFL's South Melbourne - which by the 1950s was perennially struggling and to which the Port Melbourne area was zoned - and even players as highly decorated as Brownlow Medallists Peter Bedford and Bob Skilton regularly returned to Port Melbourne after their VFL careers.
Traditionally the Borough's greatest rivals are the Williamstown Seagulls and the Sandringham Zebras. All three teams continue to play in the VFL to this day. Prior to the original breakaway of the VFL from the VFA in 1897, Port Melbourne's greatest rival was South Melbourne.
Since the AFL reserves competition merged with the Victorian Football League in 2000, Port Melbourne has been involved in two affiliations: with the Sydney Swans (2001-2002), and with the North Melbourne Kangaroos (2003-2005); since 2006, Port Melbourne has existed as a stand-alone VFL club. The club has fielded a team in the VFL Women's competition since 2021.
In under-age football, Port Melbourne has been affiliated with the Oakleigh Chargers NAB League team since the 1999 season. It had previously been affiliated with the Geelong Falcons (1996-1998), and in 1995 was part of a three-way affiliation which saw it share the Calder Cannons and Western Jets with Williamstown and Coburg.
The Port Melbourne Football Club's Guernsey is royal blue with red vertical stripes.
The club song is sung to the tune of "You're a Grand Old Flag".
In 2011, Port Melbourne completed a perfect season, winning all eighteen home-and-away games, then three finals matches, culminating in a 56-point win against Williamstown in the Grand Final. It was the first perfect season in the VFA/VFL first division since 1918.
The Port Melbourne Football Club team of the century was chosen in 2003, combining all the clubs greats from across its long history.
|Team of the Century: Line Up|
|Back Line||Stan Plumridge||Joe Garbutt||Vic Aanensen|
|Half Back Line||David King||Bob Kelsey||Bob Withers|
|Centre Line||Bill Swan||Peter Bedford||Billy McGee|
|Half Forward Line||Rob Freyer||Ted Freyer||Brian Walsh|
|Forward Line||Bob Bonnett||Fred Cook||Tommy Lahiff|
|Rucks||Frank Johnson, Sr. (c)||Graeme Anderson||Bill Findlay|
|Interchange||David Holt||Reg Murray||Norm Goss, Jr.|
|Bill Bedford||Carl Bowen||Gary Brice|
|Victorian Football League||Seniors||17||1897, 1901, 1922, 1940, 1941, 1947, 1953, 1964, 1966, 1974, 1976, 1977, 1980, 1981, 1982, 2011, 2017|
|VFA/VFL Reserves||Division 1||14||1944, 1949, 1951, 1959, 1964, 1965, 1968, 1970, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1980, 1996, 2004|
|VFA/VFL Thirds||Division 1||2||1952, 1993|
|Other titles and honours|
|Victorian Football League||Minor premiership||20||1941, 1947, 1951, 1952, 1953, 1954, 1955, 1966, 1974, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1981, 1987, 1993, 2003, 2004, 2008, 2011, 2014|
|Grand Finalists||21||1902, 1923, 1925, 1928, 1929, 1945, 1950, 1951, 1952, 1954, 1955, 1956, 1957, 1965, 1967, 1987, 1993, 2002, 2004, 2008, 2012|
|Wooden spoons||3||1909, 1936, 2006|