Originally from Kalgoorlie, Tony Carter was recruited by the Perth Football Club in 1946. The 190cm, 95kg ruckman was an immediate success. In 1948, the WA Press reported that it was only a leg injury that prevented Tony from selection in the Western Australian side to play Victoria.
In 1949, Carter moved to South Australia for employment. His new address was to be in Salisbury which, at the time, was unallotted league territory. Carter immediately aroused the interest of Norwood, North, West, South and Sturt. Norwood secretary, Fred McCallum and committeeman, Harold Winton, made it their focus to sign the big ruckman. They scanned railway passenger lists to ascertain his arrival time and contacted his future employer. McCallum greeted him at Adelaide Railway Station and Winton was at his workplace when he arrived for work.
The Advertiser 20 May 1949 reported, “Carter was a Redleg in Western Australia and evidently intends to remain one in South Australia.” Following his 13 week, residential qualification period, Tony was cleared by the WAFL and was chosen to play against South Adelaide on the 4th of June.
He made a great impression. After a game against West, this appeared in the Advertiser 14 June 1949, “Carter showed unmistakeable signs of the form which made him one of the most promising ruckmen in Western Australia. If he had been here at the beginning of the season he would have been certain to play against his old state. His knocking out in ruck was brilliant.”
Unfortunately, bad luck befell him. After just five games he succumbed to illness and played no further games that season.
Tony returned for trial games next season. He struggled to find his best form and with competition from Hall, Dalwood and Marriott, by mid-season was relegated to the Reserves. He fought his way back into the League side and gained a reputation for his accurate kicking. He was averaging over two goals a game and by August had kicked 27 goals 12 behinds. It was in August that he was again dogged by bad luck. A leg injury not only precluded him from the Finals and ultimately a premiership but brought an end his League career at Norwood.
Illness and injury had prevented Norwood from enjoying the best of Anthony Carter.
B Ridge Dec 2017