Norwood-North games: 3
Norwood-North goals: 0
A reporter wrote this of Perc Bice after his first, league game. “ Bice was a safe avenue on one wing.” So it remained for the next decade as this, “speedy Norwood wingman,” became a permanent fixture in the league side.
This report following a match against Port Adelaide in July, 1934, typifies the nature and quality of his game.
“For speedy play throughout the match Bice on the centre wing was Norwood’s best man. He cleverly eluded his opponents and was quick to dispatch the ball, always disposing of it to the best advantage.”
His speed and skill did not escape the attention of State selectors and Bice was included in 5 State teams. As fast and elusive as Perc Bice was, he never used it as away of avoiding confrontation. For example, 8th June, 1940, Prospect Oval, Norwood versus North Adelaide. Bice took a mark on the outer wing and was keen to get the ball on to his forwards that included Schultz and Brown. He was held by a North Adelaide opponent but not for long. Down went the North player and down into the Umpire’s book went Perc. At the tribunal he was only suspended for 1 game as an allowance was made for provocation due to him being held.
Another example, 28th June, 1941, Norwood versus Sturt at Unley Oval. With minutes left in the game, Sturt centre man, Leak, broke clear but in the way was Perc Bice. Down went Leak, barely conscious. As Leak lay prostrate, Bice and fellow teammates pushed him aside to get the ball. The Umpire intervened to report Bice and awarded Leak a free kick. Meanwhile irate Sturt supporters, the press estimated 50, have jumped the fence with obvious intent. Fortunately, a Police presence prevented further mayhem. At the ensuing tribunal Perc was suspended for 3 matches.
Perc Bice; fast, elusive,tough and last but by no means least, durable. The Advertiser reported on 3rd September, 1937 that Perc Bice was due to play his 63rd consecutive match. Having played in the 1941 Premiership side, Perc undertook military service bringing an end, for the time being, to his distinguished, football career.
The durable Mr. Bice had not yet finished with football. He reappeared in 1944 for a remarkable finale.
B Ridge Feb 2013