1961 SummaryCarlton had won it's final three games in 1960, and this form seemed to continue into 1961, with the Blues winning five out of their first six games. It was also encouraging that the only loss in that time; to Footscray in round 3, was by only 3 points. This good start to the year had the club sitting on top of the ladder, a game clear of Essendon.
Unfortunately, the club's form would also mirror 1960 in another key way, in that it lacked consistency. The Blues promptly lost seven of the next 8 games, including five in a row between rounds 7 and 11, to tumble right out of finals contention. By round 14, Carlton had slipped to eighth place, two games and a healthy percentage out of the top four.
After that poor patch, the Blues then reversed their fortunes and finished the season off well; winning the next three encounters against South Melbourne, North Melbourne and Collingwood, before losing a tight contest to Melbourne a single point in their final game. These wins, while encouraging, had come against the teams finishing fourth last, second last and last. Even so, three wins and a 1-point loss to the team that finished runners-up gave the Blues confidence leading into 1962. Carlton had managed 9 wins and 9 losses, to finish eighth, two games out of the finals.
People of 1961Coach: Ken Hands
Captain: Graham Donaldson
Vice Captain: John Nicholls
Leading Goal-kicker and John Coleman Medallist: Tom Carroll - 54 goals
Best & Fairest: John James
MilestonesDebuts: Jim Carroll, Brian Holcombe, Murray Kick, Graeme Anderson, Gordon Collis, Ian Collins, Martin Cross, Tom Carroll
Brownlow Medal: John James