Charlie Gwynne was recruited from St Peters College. A tall, strongly-built youngster, he played as a follower/forward and quickly established a regular position in the league side while simultaneously gaining an outstanding reputation for his high marking and long kicking.
Charlie made such an impression that a report in The Advertiser stated, “In this St Peters boy Norwood have secured one of the best men they have seen for many seasons.” Over the next two seasons he continued to enhance his reputation as a truly outstanding player. Following a game against North in June 1903, it was reported that, ”Gwynne played the game of his life and the big, brawley youngster is one of the best high markers in the State.”
Honours soon came including a premiership in 1904 and back-to back best and fairest awards in 1906 and 1907.
Charlie also gained State selection in 1906 against Victoria and again made a fine impression when he scored an outstanding goal. The Register records that, “Deafening applause succeeded the effort, which ranks among the best [goals] that have been witnessed at the oval.”
It was however, his high marking that captured the imagination of football followers and brought great eloquence to the reporters of the day. For example these lines written after a game against Sturt in July, 1906. “Gwynne for Norwood loomed up against the skyline time after time like a giant propelled from a catapult.”
1907 was a brilliant year for both Gwynne and Norwood. The premiership was won and this was followed by victory over Carlton and with it the title of Champions of Australia. Charlie Gwynne again excelled on this big stage. Following the victory over Carlton, Mr J. Worrel, the Carlton team manager entered the Norwood Room and said this, “I do not want to make any distinction between players but I must say that Gwynne marked and kicked superbly. He was a master in every department.”
Gwynne was a champion of his era and in July 1908 The Advertiser summed things up when it reported that Charlie Gwynne was, “The idol of every small and big boy in Norwood.”
B Ridge Aug 2016