William Blanchard Griffiths
William Blanchard Griffiths served on the Norwood Football Club Committee for almost 30 years and on the executive as treasurer with the South Australian Football Association (later the South Australian Football League) and was Norwood’s delegate to the association for 19 years.
His greatest achievement as a league delegate was the establishment of a fair and equal competition based on players representing a specific district club. In 1896, William Griffiths drafted a proposal aligning clubs with a particular area assigned to each. Although not a popular initiative among some of the stronger clubs at the time, including Norwood, Griffiths strenuously fought for its adoption and was successful in having his scheme of electoral district football clubs adopted at the SAFA meeting of 5 April, 1897.
The introduction of district football in 1897 began a new era in South Australian football, with six teams in the competition – a reformed West Adelaide, South Adelaide, Port Adelaide, North Adelaide, West Torrens and Norwood. William Griffiths also served on the SAFL Permit Committee, Umpire Committee and was a South Australian delegate on the Australasian Football Council.
A single man, Griffiths worked in Adelaide with the Commonwealth Civil Service as a Supervisor the Telegraph Department, and as early as 1887 was on the Committee of the Norwood Football Club. He was a regular trophy donor at the clubs annual awards events and was renown for recruiting members to the football club raising vast sums to ensure it remained financially sound.
William Griffiths was a life member of the Norwood Football Club and was presented with South Australian Football League life membership at his residence in Close Street, Rose Park by league delegates only days before his death. He was born in Byong, Victoria in 1861, died on November 29, 1914, at Close Street, Rose Park, aged 53 years, and is buried at North Road Cemetery.
In 2015 William Blanchard Griffiths became Norwood’s 55th Hall of Fame inductee.