In 1859, a few days after it was founded, some of its members created the code of football that it still plays. In 1862 it competed in what may be the earliest challenge trophy competition, was a foundation member of the Victorian Football Association, one of two associations and governing bodies formed in the same year and in 1897 it became a foundation member of the Victorian Football League competition which later became the national Australian Football League.
In 2008 the club celebrated what was claimed to be the 150th anniversary of the first meeting of its founding members, published "Melbourne FC – Since 1858 – An Illustrated History" and commemorated its formation by naming "150 Heroes" as well as a birthday logo which appears on its official guernsey.
The football club has been a sporting section of the Melbourne Cricket Club since 2009, having previously been associated with the MCC between 1889 and 1980.
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