Walter Scott was one of the State's best ever defenders, and possibly Norwood's finest footballer. Better known as "Wacka", or "Wat" (the nickname inherited from his father) Scott was born in East Stirling and attended the local school.
He started working at the age of 13 as an apprentice electrician with a company that included three Norwood footballers, Charles Gwynne, Algie Millhouse and Jack Morison. Up to 1919 he lived in Adelaide and returned home on weekends, to play with Stirling in the Adelaide Hills Association. Late in the 1919 season, Scott had been impressive playing for Norwood in a charity match against North Adelaide.
In 1920 he and his brother Basil (60 NFC games, 1920-24) were invited to play with Norwood. Scott once said that another brother Arnold, was the best out of all the brothers; a ruckman/forward, he was playing for Cobdogla/Berri at the time.
Scott was named best and fairest in 1920 - his first season with the Redlegs. The following season he made his interstate debut for South Australia, and became part of the famous half-back line which included Jack Hamilton (North Adelaide) and Dan Moriarty (South Adelaide)
He again won Norwood's best and fairest award, and was originally named runner-up for the Magarey Medal. Having tied with Moriarty with
the number of votes polled, the umpires eventually decided the Medal should go to the South Adelaide Champion on a count-back. In 1998, the SANFL made the decision to retrospectively award medals to all players who had lost the award in such circumstances.
Noted for his high marking and long clearing dashes from half back, he was also very constructive by foot. Scott put the high leaping ability down to his early athletics training as a hurdler/high jumper. Having finished second in the previous two years, Norwood won the 1922 premiership. He rated the 1922 team as the best side he ever played in. The half-back line of Sydney White, Scott, and Guy Stephens were all named in the best players on Grand Final day, and were instrumental in keeping West Adelaide down to two goals (and 16 points). "Wat's" brother Basil was selected in the pivot.
Scott was again named best and fairest when the club made it back-to-back flags in 1923. Scott was one of six Norwood footballers who represented South Australia against Victoria and Western Australia during the season - "Alec" Bent , "Tiger" Potts, Guy Stephens, Bert Schumacher, Scott and Syd White; at the time, this was a record number of representatives for any one club, in an interstate match.
He then won the Magarey Medal in 1924, and followed that with another premiership in 1925. Scott played very well in the Grand Final. For the third time in a row, Norwood's premiership side fielded a half-back line of White, Scott and G. Stephens.
In 1926 he was appointed captain-coach. The extra responsibility did not affect his form however, as he once again took out the best and fairest award. Norwood finished second in 1928, and Scott won his fifth best and fairest.
The following season he had the satisfaction of being captain-coach of the Norwood team that was crowned 1929 premiers. Scott starred at centre-half back in the Redlegs Grand Final victory over Port Adelaide.
His wonderful form continued, and he had a stellar season in 1930. Scott's great judgement in overhead marking/spoiling, combined with excellent ground skills, was never more evident. The Norwood captain-coach took out the best and fairest award for a record sixth time (later equalled by Michael Taylor) captained South Australia in the Australian Football Carnival held in Adelaide, and won another Magarey Medal. He polled 53 votes for the medal, winning the coveted award by 20 votes. He badly injured his knee in the last minor round game of the 1930 season however. Ironically, he received the news of his medal win whilst still recuperating in hospital.
The injury effectively ended his playing career, and despite attempting a comeback in 1932, only managed two more games. He returned to the coaching position midway through the 1931 season, and continued in the role in 1932.
Scott later also coached at Glenelg, Sturt and West Adelaide, with moderate success. He was umpire's coach in 1940, replacing the
well-known state cricketer/footballer, Victor Richardson.
Scott's remarkable record and reputation was not confined to South Australian football. He played 39 consecutive State games, ensuring
his playing record was recognised Australia wide. Scott played in four Australian Football Carnivals - 1921,1924,1927 and 1930 - when he
captained the South Australian team, in Adelaide. He was also coach of the State team on several occasions.
A noted all-round sportsman, Scott played A Grade District Cricket for the East Torrens Cricket Club as a wicket-keeper, and was
also an accomplished lawn bowler.
Scott was inducted into the Australian Football Hall of Fame in 1996 and 2002 into the SANFL Hall of Fame.
R Cialini May 2017