Charlie Chandler played with three clubs in three seasons. He cut his teeth with South Adelaide in 1881.
He came to Norwood in 1883 from Victorians, which changed its name to North Adelaide that same season, and immediately tasted premiership success.
Norwood defeated Port Adelaide 5.22 to 1.7 in the decisive match at Kensington Oval for its sixth flag in a row. Charlie was named one of the principal players that day along with captain 'Topsy' Waldron, 'Jammie' Watson, Alf Roberts, Joe Pollock, Tom Letchford, George Bragge and J. F. McNamara.
Norwood that season won 12 matches, lost three and drew one, but its run of success had come to an end. Charlie impressed with his smart runs and good kicking as Norwood finished second in the next three seasons.
He was rated among the best backmen in 1884 and later shared following duties with Waldron before becoming one of the most noticeable wingmen in the competition. 'Goalpost' wrote in The Adelaide Observer in 1885 that he was "very much struck with the great improvement in Chandler's play".
Chandler finished 1885 as Waldron's vice captain, after Bragge returned to Victoria, and was named deputy to new captain Alf Roberts at the start of the 1886 season. That was as good as it got for Charlie. When Adelaide unexpectedly secured the premiership by crushing Norwood 6 goals to 0, The South Australian Advertiser said that Norwood's "(Fred) Letchford and Chandler were the failures of the day".
Charlie retired after that and, like so many other players of the time, turned to umpiring.
He also sharpened the kicking skills of a young fellow called Percy Stuart. To make Percy's kick for goal precise, Charlie placed him some distance away in his yard and taught him to kick the ball so it would go through an open door of the loft. "Boots" Stuart became a Norwood sharpshooter in the 1890s
Originally from Warrnambool, Charlie was a boxer and all-round athlete. In junior cricket, he took all 10 wickets for 31 runs while playing for the Adelaide Young Men Second XI against the Cambridge XI in 1886.
Charlie was secretary of the Broken Hill Football Club in 1897. He was 65 when he died of a heart attack while working in a hayfield at Yorketown on 23 November 1920
P Robins May 2017