Dr William ‘Doc’ Caldwell McClelland CBE

William McClelland  was  a medical doctor  and  an Australian Rules football player  and  administrator. Born in Buninyong, William attended the University of Melbourne, where he was  awarded a BA in 1899,  MA in 1901 and MBBS in 1905.  While studying for his medical degree he was also Vice President of the University Club (who had  not yet joined the VFL) and  played midweek matches with the Club. William joined the Melbourne Football  Club in 1898 and  is remembered as a cool, agile centre halfback. He played in the club’s surprise 1900  premiership triumph and  was  elected Captain in 1901  until 1904.  Retiring at the end  of the 1904  season with 75 games to his credit, William focused his energies on his medical career, including  being  medical officer to the Brighton City Council  for more  than  40 years. William was  appointed Melbourne’s delegate to the VFL in 1909  and  also  served as Club Doctor before becoming Chairman of the Club in 1912.  He served until 1926  when the Demons won a flag and  he took up a position  as VFL President until 1956. From 1944  he was  also  the President of the Melbourne Cricket Club, simultaneously holding the two highest profile sporting positions in Victoria for 12 years. He was  granted a CBE for his services to both games in 1955. At the age of 81, he handed over the leadership of the VFL to Kenneth Luke. McClelland  continued as president of the MCC until his death in 1957. William was  inducted into the Australian Football  Hall of Fame in 1996.  His citation read:  “Cool level-headed defender for Melbourne who was  club president  for 14 years before becoming VFL president from 1926 to 1955.” In 1950,  the VFL instituted the McClelland  Trophy, awarded to the club with the best overall home-and- away record across the three levels, seniors, reserves and  under 19s,  over the course of the season. Since the beginning of the Australian Football  League era,  with the abolition of the reserves and  under 19s,  the trophy is given to the team that finishes on top of the ladder after the home and  way season (the minor premier).

Interested in Scholarships?

We offer a range of scholarships to give as many boys as possible the chance of a BGS education.

Find out more
Strong academic performance continues

More than a third of the Class of 2018 obtained an ATAR of 90 or above!

Read more
BGS Old Boys

See reunion dates, update your details and give to BGS

Visit our Old Boys page