Alf Aston made his debut with the foundation West Adelaide team, which collapsed after a parlous first season in 1887 and did not return to the SA Football Association until a decade later.
Alf was one of the better performers for the stricken club and with talented team-mate Jack McGaffin joined Norwood in 1888. They got off to a shaky start. Pre-season wrangling between clubs led to the formation of a new governing body, the United Football Association. Then, with the dust settled, Norwood faced South Adelaide at Adelaide Oval on 12 May - but rain bucketed down and the match was abandoned as a draw, one goal apiece, after 24 minutes. ‘Follower’ in The South Australian Weekly Chronicle reckoned that Aston and McGaffin “put in an amount of useful work and should prove serviceable”.
Both immediately left for Victoria with the Norwood party to play against Carlton, Port Melbourne, Geelong and Ballarat. By season’s end, McGaffin was rated a champion and Aston had gone.
It seems likely that the Aston who played some useful games for South Adelaide in 1888 was Alf’s younger brother Horwood. An Aston cast off by one of the older clubs – either Alf or Horwood - was named in the mix for Medindie before the start of the 1889 season, but subsequent newspaper reports do not mention either brother in that or later seasons. Evidently the whole family moved to Melbourne.
Alf was born at Portland (now Port Adelaide) on 7 November 1867 to Charles Aston and his wife Sarah, née Horwood. Charles, a manager and agent, transferred from the North Adelaide Baptist Church in 1978 to become the first secretary of the Semaphore Baptist Church, which he and his wife served for six years before moving to Flinders Street Baptist, Adelaide, and then Victoria.
Alf gained a civil service cadetship in 1884. A junior cricketer with Bankville and Ariel, he was secretary of the Adelaide Cricketing Association in 1887.
Alfred Aston, agent, of Collins Street, Melbourne, died on 6 June 1919. He left £3,107 real estate and £2,491 personally to his widow, Ada, who joined him on 22 May 1924. They were survived by daughters Mildred (Mrs Alsop), Jean, Doris and Beryl
P Robins Oct 2019