Alick Gladstone Lill was born in Stepney and went on to become one of Norwood's all time greats. Educated at Mitcham and Flinders St Primary schools, and later at Norwood High, Lill was far from being a star as a junior.In fact was more of a fringe player in his early years.
After leaving school he played tennis and cricket before joining the Marryatville Juniors Football Club in the YMCA competition. Lill played predominantly as a centre half forward for the next four seasons. He was a key member of the 1922 premiership team kicking 98 goals, including
20 in one match.
Lill played his first B grade game for Norwood in the 1922 Grand Final. He kicked three goals from centre half forward in a losing side.
He made his League debut in Round 1, 1923. However, after playing 5 senior games in a row, was relegated to 19th man for the next three rounds. Lill was then re-instated to the forward lines of the senior side, but eventually moved to the pivot after an injury to Basil Scott. He was outstanding as a centreman in Norwood's Grand Final victory against North Adelaide, and was named the club's best junior for 1923.
At 6 feet 3 inches (190cm) he was one of the tallest footballers of his time. Fast for a big man with a strong kick and powerful overhead, Lill became a genuine match-winner. He won the club's best and fairest in 1924.
Lill had an even more memorable season in 1925. The champion centreman was not only named Norwood's best and fairest once again, but was also awarded the Magarey Medal and played in a Norwood premiership. He was again high in Norwood's best players in the premiership decider that saw the Redlegs defeat West Torrens by 1 point.
Always fair and making the ball his objective, he was runner-up for the 1926 Magarey Medal, and won his third club best and fairest award in 1927.
After playing another 18 games in 1928, Lill was seriously injured against North Adelaide the following season. He badly injured his knee at Prospect in his 99th game for Norwood and it was widely feared he would never play again.
Lill did miss the rest of the 1929 season, including the Redlegs Grand Final victory against Port Adelaide. However, after having the cartilage removed from his knee, Lill made a triumphant return to league football on May 17, 1930. Playing his 100th game, and despite having been out for almost a year, he was named third best in Norwood's win against Sturt on the Norwood Oval.
Unfortunately Lill suffered another knee injury in the last minor round game of the season and never played again. Another Norwood icon, Wat Scott, was also seriously injured in the same game, and after missing the entire 1931 season, only managed two more appearances before retiring.
Whilst Lill was appointed captain-coach in 1931, he did not end up playing, as his knee gave way before round 1. In 1932 he coached the B's to a grand final.
Appointed A Grade coach again in 1933, he guided the Redlegs to the League Grand Final. Sadly, West Torrens defeated Norwood by 23 points. The following season he coached Norwood to seventh position.
Lill played his first interstate match in 1925, and was an automatic selection when available. In 1927 and 1930, he played in the Melbourne and Adelaide national carnivals.
He was a member of the Norwood Football Club Management Committee from 1957-1966, and was later selected as the centreman, in the Norwood Team of the Century.
Lill played A Grade for the East Torrens Cricket Club. He also represented the East Torrens tennis club, and performed impressively in many tournaments.
His son John played 78 games for Norwood between 1959-62
Games: 123 Premierships: 1923, 1925
Captain-coach: 1931 Coach: 1933 - 34
Club champion: 1924 -25, 1927
Further honours: Magarey Medal 1925, Norwood Player Life Member, Norwood Team of the Century, SANFL Hall of Fame, SA games 20.
R Cialini Sept 2015