Barely a year after he played a valuable role in Norwood’s 1887 premiership triumph, George Mugg succumbed to typhoid fever at the tender age of 20.
The third son of produce manager George Mugg and his wife Elizabeth, née Abbot, young George was born at Kapunda on 28 September 1868.
George quickly made his mark with Norwood. After the club’s indifferent 1886 season, ‘Follower’ said in The Express & Telegraph: “Of the new men Slattery, Rischbieth, Mugg, Norman Richards and Norman were about the best.” None of the five would have to wait long to enjoy premiership success.
Mainly playing back but capable of kicking goals as well, George was one of the better performers as Norwood edged out Port Adelaide by a tiny percentage margin to take the 1887 premiership – the first of a string of three.
George missed the 1888 premiership because of his work as a woolbroker in Broken Hill. While there he contracted typhoid fever. Seriously ill, he returned to the family home in Adelaide and died at Mile End on 18 November 1888. He is buried at the West Terrace Cemetery.
George was the youngest of three Norwood figures whose untimely deaths were noted with deep regret at the club’s annual general meeting at the International Hotel on 7 March 1889, the others being foundation player Fred Terrell, 31, and delegate to the SA Football Association, Montague Rowe, 30.
George Mugg senior was the youngest son of Thomas Mugg of Mitcham, where the family name is memorialised by Muggs Hill Road.
P Robins, D Cox Sept 2020