Multi Talented Redlegs

(June 2012)

Over the years Norwood has produced many footballers that have excelled in other sports.

Given the Norwood Football Club’s early connection with the Norwood Cricket Club and later East Torrens, it is of little surprise that so many of its league footballers have chosen to play cricket in the summer. More surprising perhaps, is how many have played at a district, state or national level.

Australian captain Joe Darling, George Giffen (Norwood’s first goalscorer), Walter Giffen, Philip “P.K.”.Lee, and Joe Travers, all played Test cricket for Australia. Greg Blewett (Norwood U/17’s) Tim May (U/17’s) and Peter Sleep (U/19’s) also wore the baggy green after playing junior football at the Parade. The following played in the Sheffield Shield: Harry Blinman, Cornelius, Jack and Len Chamberlain, Neil “Nodder” Dansie, our first Magarey Medallist, Alby Green, Harry Haldane, Theodore E.C. Hantke (WA) Arthur, Roy and “Solly” Hill, Harold P. ”Mother” Kirkwood, Eric Johnson, John Lill, who later became Melbourne Cricket Club secretary, John Nash, Phil Newland also toured England and New Zealand with Australian teams, Arthur Ernie Peters, James Pyke, Karl Schneider, champion full forward Bruce Schultz, Richard “Bruce” Townsend, ten time NFC captain “Topsy” Waldron and Henry Whitfield. Norman Jolly played for Worcestershire (U.K).

There have been numerous players in the history of the NFC who have also played A Grade cricket. Whilst it has become increasingly difficult to combine both sports, some recent examples include current League coach Nathan Bassett (Kensington), Scott Borlace (Tea Tree Gully), Scott Burns (East Torrens), Matthew and Richard Kelly (East Torrens), Ben Kemp (East Torrens), Matthew Twomey (East Torrens) and Tim Webber (East Torrens) 

Norwood footballers have also shone in many other sports. Peter and Robert Oatey, Alf Roberts, Gordon Schwartz, Theodore E C Hantke, Tom Warhurst senior, and Doug Young were all prominent tennis players who represented the South Australia.

Alf Roberts was also a distinguished walker and Ern Wadham a professional athlete who won the Bay Sheffield in 1922. JD “Bunny” Daly (1896) and Len Parker (1927) were also past winners of this prestigious event. Our state rowers have included Joseph Oswald Bertram, Neil Button, James Gosse and Alf Grayson. Patrick Roachock was a well-known professional boxer, wrestler, hammer thrower and weightlifter. Allan Lyon captained the South Australian Table-Tennis team and Phil Newland, William Noal and Dr. Dean Dawson played state lacrosse. Jack Chamberlain skippered the state bowls team and represented Singapore in Rugby Union. The History Group is interested to hear from anyone who may have other examples of Norwood league footballers starring in other sports.


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