Keith Henry " Hooker" Ransom was a Kangaroo Island boy who joined the Royal Australian Air Force in World War II, showed promise with Norwood, married a Mount Gambier girl and became a stalwart of the East Gambier Football Club.
Keith was born at Kingscote on 3 November 1925 to Hurtle Ransom and his wife Anna (née Krueger). He was living at Norwood when he enlisted for RAAF service in November 1943 and was a Leading Aircraftman with 76 Squadron when discharged in March 1946.
He attracted notice while playing with Norwood Union and joined Norwood in 1948. He was 20th man in his first league match in 1949 and a half-back flanker in his other three appearances. Norwood won 10 of its first 11 matches but suffered a string of injuries, from captain-coach Jack Oatey down, and finished a disappointing third. Keith experienced victories against West Torrens and Glenelg, but a 57-point defeat by Port Adelaide at Kensington and a four-point loss at home to Glenelg did not augur well. North Adelaide won the premiership. Meanwhile, Keith kicked two goals in 21 games with the reserves.
Keith met Dorothy Jean Bowd around 1948 on a football trip to Mount Gambier and they were married on 16 April 1949. Dorothy did not like living in Adelaide. They returned to Mount Gambier and were together for 41 years until Dorothy passed away in 1990 aged 63. They had four children, all boys.
Keith started his football with East Gambier in the 1950s and won a best and fairest award in 1952. He played 165 senior games until he was badly injured, but went on to coach reserves football for some years. He was president of the social club for 10 years and worked as the head barman. He maintained his interest in East Gambier until his retirement and was awarded club life membership in 1961.
Three of his sons went on to play with the East Gambier Football Club. Two were also awarded life memberships and between them they played 850 club games. One of his seven grandsons is currently playing with the club. Keith died on 25 August 2003 at the age of 77
P Robins March 2019
* We thank Keith Ransom junior for the picture and information on his father's life