Tom Brimble was a very enthusiastic footballer. There is a family story that for training Tom would run from his home in Kensington to his work at Rossi Boots, which was then located in Unley, and at the end of the day run home again. He'd bounce the ball all the way there and back, according to his great-grandson Brenton Trafford, recounting the story in 2018.
Born at Magill on 7 August 1862, Tom was captain of the Kent Town team of 25 players which succumbed to Norwood in the season opener in the East Parklands in April 1881.
He joined Norwood the following season and not only celebrated a premiership but also travelled to Melbourne as a team member in the steamship Aldinga in June for matches against Melbourne, Carlton and Ballarat City Imperial.
Tom chalked up another premiership with Norwood in 1883 but switched to South Park in 1884.
Some three decades later a great Norwood supporter, Colin Cook Matthews, who in his youth played football for the old Victorians, South Adelaide and South Park, remembered a funny incident from his South Park days when little Tommy Brimble jumped on the back of Norwood giant Tom Letchford. The big fellow ran on with the ball, got his kick, and "quietly brushed Tommy off his back as if he were a fly".
Tom was back with Norwood in 1885. Meanwhile, he was 22 when he married Mary Ann 'Polly' Drew, 20, at the Primitive Methodist Parsonage, Norwood, on 20 December 1884. They would have 17 children between March 1885 and December 1915.
Tom also found time to play cricket with Norwood Albert and become a senior cricket umpire.
A Maylands resident, Tom was 77 when he died in Adelaide on 3 May 1939, three years and a day after Mary Ann had passed away at Victor Harbor.
Two of Tom's sons, Bill and Ken, were trainers for the Norwood B team. Ken, the grandfather of Brenton Trafford, was awarded Life Membership of the B team in 1935. Two other sons - there were 13 boys - also were involved with the club, Sidney as a timekeeper for the Bs and Fred as a colour steward and scoreboard attendant.
P Robins Sept 2018