Allan Davies’ lone league game with Norwood, in 1948, was both memorable and forgettable. Named 20th man, he was called into service in the first quarter when champion wingman Doug Olds left the field with an injury.
“Can you play wing?” demanded captain-coach Jack Oatey. Allan indicated he was happy to play anywhere. It was not a great day for Norwood, which went down by 51 points to a rampaging West Torrens, 19.15 to 11.12. Even worse for Allan, he suffered a corked thigh in a last quarter collision with the dominant Torrens centreman, Bob Hank, and was out of action for several weeks. That stymied Allan’s league prospects, though he did complete the season in the seconds, kicking five goals in 14 games.
Norwood turned the tables on Torrens with a 15.16 to 6.13 victory in the league grand final that year. After football, Allan Davies and Bob Hank enjoyed many friendly encounters at the Grange Golf Club, often in the company of Jim Deane – like Hank, a dual Magarey Medallist.
Allan was born on 14 April 1929 to Arthur and Ruby Davies of Trinity Gardens. In 1946 he was appointed head prefect of Norwood High School as well as captain of cricket and captain of football. It was a rich recruiting ground for Norwood. Inspired as a junior by the deeds of senior students Ivan Holliday and Brian Burke, Allan led a team that included Neil Dansie, John Marriott, Dennis Potts and Ron Reimann. Sports master Othal Koch wrote in the school magazine: “Allan Davies played with dash and vigour at centre half-forward and centre and was a delight to watch.”
Allan played in two Senior Colts grand finals against Port Adelaide, with Norwood losing in 1946 but taking the 1947 premiership with a 2.9 to 2.4 victory at Adelaide Oval. Allan made the best players and attracted attention with a spectacular slide in cricket pitch slush. He played A grade cricket with Kensington during World War II and baseball with the Kensington Cardinals. He also played amateur league football and Adelaide & Suburban cricket for the Commonwealth Bank and United Church football with Maylands Methodist under captain-coach Eric Mathews, alongside other ex-Redlegs Des Butler, ‘Snow’ Partridge, Peter Appelbee and Dick Rowett.
Allan had a successful career with the Commonwealth Bank and was manager of the Felixstow branch before switching to finance and then conveyancing.
In 1951 he married Pat, daughter of the legendary Jack Sexton, 1931 Magarey Medallist with West Adelaide and 1935 Norwood captain-coach before his tragic early demise through illness. Allan and Pat had met at the Maylands Methodist Church when both were eight years old, attended Norwood High School together and as nonagenarians were living in retirement in Melbourne in 2020, close to their son John and his wife Jenny. John Davies kicked six goals in a 1975 amateur league preliminary final win which lifted Pembroke Old Scholars into grade A1.
P Robins Sept 2020
* We thank Allan and John Davies for their help; also Ken and Mark Horsnell