Edward Tenison (Ted) WOODS


Guernsey Number:
Career: 1878 to 1886
NFC Games: 43
NFC Goals: 1
Finale: v Port Adelaide (Alberton) 10th May 1886

Premierships: 1878, 1879, 1880, 1881, 1882, 1883
NFC Life Member


Ted Woods was the eldest of four brothers who made their mark at the Norwood Football Club in its early years.  Ted and Julian were there at the start.  John and Charles made huge contributions a little later.  They were nephews of Father Julian Edmund Tenison-Woods, the priest and scientist who co-founded the Josephite order with Mary MacKillop, Australia’s first Catholic saint.

Ted was born on 27 April 1856, the third of eight children of the journalist and historian James Dominick Woods – older brother of Father Tenison-Woods – and his wife Catherine Henrietta Griffin.

Ted, 21, and Julian, 18, played football for Kensington in 1877.  Both were in the South Australian Natives team which went down to St Kilda by seven goals to two at Adelaide Oval on 20 August 1977.

Ted was a member of the first Norwood team, which went through the 1878 season undefeated.  Adept in defence, on the wing or at half-forward, he played in six successive premiership years and Julian in four.  In 1878, both brothers were outspoken at NFC meetings in refuting allegations that Norwood had cadged players from other clubs, notably Bill Dedman from South Adelaide.  Ted wrote letters to the editor on that issue and others in subsequent years when he felt Norwood or football had been treated unfairly.

Ted served as acting captain in the absence of ‘Topsy’ Waldron in 1882.  He played for Norwood against Victorian clubs in Melbourne in 1879 and 1882.  He sometimes umpired.  Ted bowed out in style early in the 1886 season when he and Joe Pollock came into the side as late replacements and helped Norwood defeat Port Adelaide 4.7 to 1.5 at Alberton Oval. 

Ted was an all-round sportsman.  He and Julian joined the Norwood Cricket Club in 1877 and welcomed their younger brother John Joseph there in 1883.  The 1889 Norwood baseball team had Ted at first base and his brother Charlie pitching.  Ted was one of the competition’s best batters in 1892-93.  Ted and J.J. were playing for the Locomotive cricket team in the Public Service competition in 1896.  Ted took up lawn bowls about then.  He played for Loco and Semaphore, twice represented South Australia in Melbourne, and in 1912 helped the SA Bowling Association establish its pennant system.  He was Semaphore secretary from 1914 to 1919, when he transferred to Sturt.
Brother E. T. Woods was Worshipful Master of the Semaphore Freemasons in 1910.

Ted married Constance Irene ‘Totty’ Witcombe in 1892.  Their daughter Constance married S. Murray Sellick at Manthorpe Memorial Church, Unley, in 1923.  Ted Woods survived his wife by just over a year and was 83 when he died at the Sellick residence, `Wattle St, Fullarton, on 13 July 1939.  He is buried at the West Terrace Cemetery.

P. Robins, C. Lane, G. Adams December 2023


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