Charles Henry COCKS


Guernsey Number: 15, 4, 10
Career: 1939 to 1946
NFC Games: 15
NFC Goals: 19
Debut: v Port Adelaide (Alberton) 8th July 1939
Finale: v Sturt (Unley) 1st June 1946


Wartime competition 1942-1944
Norwood-North games: 2
Norwood-North goals: 2

Charles Cocks was a product of the Norwood colts. His first foray into senior football was the 1939 pre-season trials. The, “young rover,” made a good impression and was included on the league training list. His first senior games were in the association (reserves) side. Charlie was consistently amongst the best players and goal kickers. This included a game against South Adelaide (8/6/39) when Norwood amassed a then record association score of 40 goals 14 behinds.

He was eventually rewarded with league selection against Port Adelaide at Alberton (8/7/39). It resulted in a heavy loss and Charlie was among those who lost their place.  He played out the remainder of the season with the association side. This was not without its highlights. Cocks was chosen in the State association team that played against the Port Pirie Association. He was named as one of the best players and described in The Recorder (27/7/39) as a, “Courageous type of rover who is expected to go a long way in the game.”

Later that season he played in the Norwood team that defeated North Adelaide to win their third association premiership in a row. Two weeks later this side travelled to play Berri who were Upper Murray premiers. Norwood won by 34 points and at game's end the players were presented with boxes of oranges.

The 1940 season mirrored his first year. Selected in round one, he was soon relegated to the association and found himself battling for league selection against the likes of Ron Brown and Jack Oatey 

His 1941 season hit a major stumbling block when Cocks broke his thumb in a pre-season trial. He came back through the association and by season’s end had developed a strong roving partnership with Oatey.

As was the case with so many footballers, World War 2 proved a serious hiatus for Charlie’s career.  League positions opened up to start the 1941 and 1942 seasons. The Advertiser (18/4/41) reported, “Enlistments have cut Norwood’s 1940 team down to 12.”
Charles Cocks was soon to be added to the enlistment list. He played out most of the season but prior to the 1941 finals, which Norwood won, The News (13/9/41) reported, “Cocks will not be available for Norwood because of military duty.”

He played two games for Norwood-North in the wartime competition and eventually The News (13/4/46) reported, “Cocks, second rover in 1941, is another serviceman coming back to the game.”

He added just a few league games to his record but on ANZAC Day 1946, he was chosen as vice-captain of the Artillery Veterans versus the Infantry Veterans. With all proceeds going to the RSL Distress Fund.

Charles Cocks may only have played 15 League games but his love of the game and dedication to Norwood and his country cannot be questioned

B Ridge Feb 2019

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