What might have been? A question often asked but in the case of Kevin List’s football career a very relevant one.Kevin was a true red and blue, Norwood product. He emerged from the Colts with the reputation as an outstanding, young forward with great potential.
Kevin played in the 1940 pre-season trials and won a place in the League training squad. He was 19th man for the season opener against Port. He came on after half-time when Foweraker was injured and made a positive impression playing at half-forward and later on the wing. For the next game against Sturt he was chosen at half-forward and was a permanent fixture for the remainder of the season either on the flank or at centre half-forward.
List began to win significant praise in the press: The News (6/6/1940) : “Norwood has found a very promising player in List.”
The Advertiser (2/9/1940) : “List played the half-forward position with all-round excellence, intercepting with great dash and clean handling.”
His first taste of finals football was a losing semi-final against South but Kevin did kick a goal and was named in Norwood’s best.
Vic Johnson summarizing the 1940 season in the Advertiser (14/9/1940) wrote, “ I think this season South Australia has found 3 or 4 juniors who can measure up to some of the best we have found in past seasons and who if given the opportunity may well make their mark in interstate football. I refer to Oatey and List (Norwood), Gibson (Sturt) and L.G. McLean (Port).”
Johnson wrote further on, “For a player of his inches, List is a surprisingly, good mark and a fine kick. His pace is very deceptive, his fairly long strides giving the impression of slowness.”
The 1941 season saw List’s form continue in the same vein.In July he was made a back-up reserve for the State team against Victoria and at season’s end was touted as a player to poll well in the Magarey Medal. The highlight came on the 4th October, Grand Final Day – Norwood versus Sturt. List was chosen at full-forward in place of the injured Norwood champion, Bruce Schultz. Norwood was victorious by 29 points and Kevin kicked 2 goals 4 points. The Advertiser (6/10/1941) : “ Others to play finely were Sawley (Centre), List, who adapted some remarkable attitudes to mark the ball.”
Before the start of the 1942 season, Kevin had enlisted in the armed forces. He would not pull on a Norwood jumper for five more years.
He played in the 1947 pre-season trials, made the League training squad and was made 20th man for the side’s first but his last league game. A five year absence had taken its toll but considering Kevin List’s brilliant, first two seasons well may we ask; What might have been?
B Ridge Nov 2014