As a tall, slender blond-haired youngster from Port Lincoln, Peter Sinclair showed good promise in two seasons at Norwood before returning home to a long and distinguished career in country football.
Peter as a lad often dreamed of playing for Norwood. Born on 14 June 1947, he had football in his blood. His grandfather Ronald Sinclair co-founded the local Wayback Football Club with Muir McFarlane in 1903. Peter wore the red and blue of Waybacks for 10 years. Among his team-mates were sometime Norwood players Kieran Kelly, Darcy Dunlevy and Alex Staritski.
After schooling at Scotch College, Peter worked at the family grazing property of his parents, Richard Baxter Stuart Sinclair and the former Joan Borthwick. His father’s full title commemorates the explorers John Baxter and John McDouall Stuart with whom his Scottish forebears were associated in early colonial days. Baxter was murdered by natives who were accompanying him and Edward John Eyre across the Nullarbor. Stuart, who traversed the continent from south to north and return, once worked for the Sinclair family.
In 1966 Peter signed a Form 4 to play for Woodville but came to Norwood the following season instead. He earned senior selection with a five-goal performance in the Reserves against Sturt at Norwood Oval. He played four games from rounds six to nine in the key forward positions, kicking six goals. A broken thumb cut his season short
In the opening round of 1968 Peter booted five goals against Central District but played forward only the first four games for nine goals. He played again in rounds eight and nine as a ruck-rover, changing with Bob Haines in the back pocket, but was dropped after South Adelaide champion Peter Darley kicked a bag on him. A week later Bob Kingston came to Norwood from South Melbourne and Michael Coligan arrived in 1969. Flying Peter from Port Lincoln each week was costly and he did not want to live in Adelaide. He finished with the Reserves in round 13 of 1968, leaving a record of 12 goals in his 13 Reserves games.
Back home, Peter completed his 10 years with Waybacks and then joined Lincoln South for seven years, two seasons as playing coach. He played one year with West Whyalla and seven years with Kapinnie, three of them as coach. He played in four premierships with Waybacks, one with Lincoln South and three with Kapinnie. After retiring as a player, he coached Bostons for two years, Ramblers for two years and Eyre Peninsula under 17 colts for five years.
Peter married Susanne Vivian, a relative of Norwood’s 1959 captain Peter Vivian, and they had two children, Kylie and John. A premiership player with Waybacks, John was best and fairest for SA Country in a Darwin match and played in Victoria at Kerang and in the Geelong suburban competition
P Robins, G Adams Sept 2019
* For the picture and background information we thank Peter Sinclair and his wife Sue