(1945 - 1955)
Another “one of those days”
Once, before a final, the Norwood selectors asked head trainer Tiger Potts if Sam Gallagher was fit to play. “Probably not,” was Tiger’s reply, “but if he only lasts a quarter he’ll still win us the game”. Throughout Sam’s decade in the midfield for Norwood he was regarded as one of football’s most spectacular performers, so much so that “Sam” was sufficient for the public, no surname required. He was also “Sammy”, and eastern suburbs kids who pulled down a schoolyard screamer would say they had taken a “Sammy”. Often the scribes, whose ranks Sam later joined with distinction, struggled to control their language. Phrases such as “sheer football virtuosity”, “defy all football canons” and “something to wonder at” evoked their admiration. Sam was a big game, “big day” player who thrived on challenges. It was agreed that when he had “one of those days”, which was frequently, the superlatives failed you but Norwood didn’t. Sam’s regular eclipses of West Torrens’s Bob Hank, a champion, are part of this club’s folklore. Even more enduring is the Gallagher-Williams Cup, honouring two great SA football families. At Norwood Sam is first among Gallaghers, no mean feat in itself.
Premierships: 1946, 1948, 1950
Club champion: 1952
Further honours: Norwood Player Life Member, Norwood Team of the Century, SA games 10