Chris Gapp's varied football career is not easy to map from scrappy newspaper reports, but it appears that he played for Norwood, Adelaide and Broken Hill. Born in Adelaide on 18 May 1868, he began with the junior team Creswick in 1885 and 1886. He was probably the Gapp in the Norwood team which visited Melbourne in May 1888.
Gapp played in at least the first match, against Carlton. In the second match, the goal umpire mistakenly awarded a goal to Port Melbourne and tried to rescind his decision but was overruled by the central umpire. Scores in the matches were: Carlton 7.7, Norwood 5.12; Port Melbourne 2.10, Norwood 1.7; Geelong 5.14, Norwood 5.5; Norwood 7.7, Ballarat 3.6.
Chris played for lowly Adelaide in 1891. In his first match he showed considerable dash and was his team's best player against Norwood, which romped home 15.16 to 1.2.
He began 1892 with Adelaide but was more prominent later that season as captain of the Broken Hill team which met Norwood at Adelaide Oval on 13 August. The Advertiser said "the well known Gapp by his coolness, judgment, and tricky play proved himself to be in his prime as a footballer, and clearly indicated that he has lost none of his prowess". At one point Norwood's Os Bertram "essayed a long run, and evidently imagined that the newcomers were not smart enough to catch him, but he was collared and captured by Gapp". Playing at centre half-forward, Chris marked 50 yards out and nailed Broken Hill's third goal with a splendid drop-kick, but Norwood won the match 7.7 to 3.5
Chris played with Norwood in 1893. In the first match he found himself against his old team, Adelaide, which went down 12.27 to 1.3. He helped Norwood beat Gawler 10.14 to 8.6 in July.
Chris was an oarsman with the Norwood Boating Club in 1888 and later played junior cricket with Bankville. His father, also Christopher, was a servant of the Adelaide City Corporation for 34 years.
Chris's wife of three years, Eva Adelaide, was only 29 when she died in 1908.
Joseph Christopher Gapp, late of St Peters, died at Northfield on 5 January 1933 and was survived by his widow Jeannette, daughter of Mr and Mrs F. G. Dodge of Millicent.
P Robins Oct 2017