Clem Pinches was a stout-hearted defender for the Mypolonga Tigers in the River Murray Football Association through most of the 1930s but played as a tall forward with Norwood in 1936.
He was named in the forward pocket in his one league game during which he suffered a broken collarbone. A Ron Brown goal with barely a minute to spare gave Norwood a five-point win over Sturt, 14.12 to 13.13. Clem kicked two goals in his 14 games with the Norwood reserves. He marked well and had a very good kick but was deemed to be a trifle slow for league football.
Back home in 1937, he won the association and club best and fairest awards from full back even though Mypolonga did not win a match. A year later, with Clem as captain-coach, the ‘Orchard Men’ broke though for a long-awaited premiership, defeating Ramblers by five points in a high-scoring grand final. In 1939 Mypolonga again won the premiership, with Clem no longer at the helm but still a reliable full back.
World War II interrupted Mypolonga’s new-found ascendancy. Clem enlisted in the AIF on 12 October 1942 and was a private upon discharge on 6 November 1943.
Clem was born at Yankalilla on 24 December 1913 to Thomas Pinches and his wife Ellen, née Pearce. He had eight sisters. He married Nita Graetz and they had four children. Clem worked as a dairy hand and a fruit merchant. In 1937 he was fined £5 with 10/ costs for having driven on a controlled route without the appropriate licence a motor lorry carrying oranges for hire.
Clem Pinches died on 5 August 1991 and is buried at Murray Bridge. He predeceased his wife by nearly 17 years.
R Cialini Oct 2013, P Robins June 2019
* For the picture and background information we thank John Parmenter, secretary of the Mypolonga FC