Edward 'Teddy' Buist began his football career in Victoria. Initially he played in the Victorian Football Association with Prahran and earned selection in the VFA Combined side that played against South Australia. He made his VFL debut for South Melbourne as a 21 year old in 1907. He went on to play 12 games before moving to Adelaide 1n 1909.
Small in stature, Teddy was 5ft 6ins (170cm) and weighed just under 10 stone (63kg). He played mainly on the wing but also as a rover and forward pocket. In both SA and Victoria, the words ”Speedy” and “clever” were often used to describe his style of play.
There was the prospect of controversy surrounding Buist’s signing with Norwood. On arriving in Adelaide, he took up residence in the West Adelaide electorate. Neither he nor West made any attempt to gain a clearance and he subsequently moved to the eastern suburbs where Norwood sought and gained a clearance for him from Victoria. There were rumours that West Adelaide was going to lodge a protest but nothing came of it.
Teddy took little time in making a positive impression. After just a few games glowing reports appeared. “Buist who made his first appearance for the senior team showed ability in every department.” Telegraph (1/5/1909) “Buist is a real goer on the Wing as well as on the ball.” Observer (29/5/1909)
In his two seasons with Norwood, Teddy was used as an impact player. If the centreline needed a lift he went on a wing, if the on-ballers were struggling, Teddy went roving and if the forwards needed a spark, Buist went forward. He rarely let the side down.
Norwood made the Grand Final in his first season. Unfortunately it resulted in a 28 point loss to West but Teddy kicked two goals and was named in the best players.
Teddy’s final season again had him alternating positions according to team demands. A Premiership again eluded him when Norwood went down to Sturt in a Semi-Final and had to settle for third.
In December of that year, Teddy was married and he and his wife decided to return to Victoria. He was sorely missed by his Adelaide connections. Not only was Teddy Buist a talented footballer, he had also established himself as fine all-rounder with the East Torrens Cricket Club, with Club President, Mr. Fraser adding that he was, “ The finest fieldsman in the East Torrens District.” He went on to say,”Without exaggeration, Mr Buist may be termed a true athlete. The loss of such a man is great and is not easily replaced.” Daily Herald (4/2/1911)
This did not mark the end of Teddy’s career. On returning to Melbourne, he signed with the Fitzroy Club. He played until 1916, managing 59 games. This included a Grand Final victory against St Kilda in 1913. His final match as a 31 year old, on 3rd September,1916 was another Grand Final victory, this time against Carlton.
Edward (Teddy) Buist was born 4/5/1885 and died 30/6/1959 (Aged 74)
B Ridge Feb 2018