Thomas Cornelius was born in Moonta, on the Yorke Peninsula in South Australia, on January 24, 1902. Twenty-five years old by the time he arrived at Norwood, Cornelius had already played for several different country clubs, as well as captaining Moonta juniors earlier on.
Well built, and just under 183cm tall, he was a fine mark and a good kick, although perhaps on the slow side.
Invited to train with the Norwood senior team in early May, Cornelius proceeded to show fine form in the early practice games. It came as no surprise, when he was named in the 25 man squad for round one. However, he had to wait until round three before he got the chance to make his League debut. Norwood defeated North Adelaide in a nail-biting finish : 13.7 to 11.18. He suffered a knee injury mid-season, and subsequently was unavailable for several weeks.
Cornelius played his final League game in the last minor round fixture of the year, against West Torrens. Named in a forward pocket, he kicked three goals in Norwood's 17 point victory. The Redlegs side contained the likes of Sid Ackland, Alf Biddell, Alick Lill, Wat Scott and Ern Wadham.
At the end of the season, and after making seven senior appearances, he returned to the country.
Thomas Cornelius passed away on September 28, 2004. He was aged 102
*Picture kindly supplied by Joan Branford, niece of Tom Cornelius and daughter of his brother Bill
R Cialini June 2015