Claude Pain was a country boy who played one season with Norwood after his return from World War I and then went on to build stone houses, halls and churches across upper Eyre Peninsula.
Claude was born at Riverton on 31 July 1898, one of eight sons and two daughters of Charles Pain and his wife Ann, née Bury, who was formerly of Port Augusta. Charles was a mason and with his sons was responsible for many of the early buildings in Riverton. Young Claude was the first King’s Scout in the Riverton Troop, which was the oldest country troop in SA.
He was a farmer when he enlisted for war service at Wudinna on 27 October 1916. He served with the 48th Battalion until his discharge on 16 March 1919. In 1921 he was a member of the first Le Hunte Football Association team, along with future Glenelg player Glen Griffiths and former South Adelaide man Vic Barns.
Claude then tried his hand at Norwood. On the Monday holiday of June 1922 he enjoyed his one league game as a tall follower with ruckman Les Bryant and rover Bert Schumacher. Before 23,500 fans who defied threatening weather, Norwood whipped reigning premier Port Adelaide 17.11 to 4.6 on a soggy Adelaide Oval, with full forward Roy Bent bagging seven goals. Norwood would go on to end a 15-year premiership drought.
Claude was one of six new players brought into the senior team that season. Two of them, Syd Ackland and Ray Plunkett, had played in Norwood’s B Grade premiership team in 1921 and a third, Charles Hepburn, had captained the opposing West Adelaide side, defeated 4.8 to 2.12. The other new men were Harry Clapson and Ern Wadham. Hepburn and Wadham were the only members of the six who took part in the 1922 league grand final in which Norwood beat West Adelaide 9.7 to 2.16.
Claude returned to the country but came to Adelaide to marry Blanche Lily Redding in 1928. They had two children who reached maturity, Margaret Anne (Smart) and Brian Claude Pain.
Claude was 43 when he enlisted for World War II service on 5 May 1942 and was a private in the 5 Battalion Volunteer Defence Corps upon discharge on 31 May 1943. He died at Port Lincoln on 30 December 1980, aged 82
P Robins, D Cox August 2019
* For the picture we thank Kerri Cliff, granddaughter of Claude Pain