Joseph Manning played his first game in the Norwood senior team in August 1911, “a mere youth from the seconds”, as reported in The Register. The same article noted that he “played a good game … but dropped a few marks”. He featured frequently in the best player lists, as a ruck-rover resting on the half forward line.
At the 1914 Norwood Annual General Meeting he was presented with trophies for “best backman” and for the quaintly named “best trained player” for his efforts in the 1913 season. He played his last game for the Norwood senior side in June 1914.
A number of players’ lives and careers were affected by their service in World War 1; in Joseph’s case a football injury to his knee delayed his enlistment into the Australian Imperial Force (AIF) and it wasn’t until 1916 that he was declared fit for service and duly enlisted. He served in France from 1916 until he returned in February 1919.
Joseph died in 1947 at the age of 53.
R Crompton April 2014