In early 1913 David Crawford came to Adelaide to work for the South Australian Railways. He had previously lived in Western Australia and played football for East Perth. He had been described as a “solid back man.”
Having signed with Norwood, his first taste of South Australian football came in April when he was chosen to represent SA Railways in carnival matches against their NSW and Victorian counterparts.
Crawford’s first game for Norwood was against West Torrens in June 1913. He was chosen at half forward and in one report was said to have, “Shown flashes of fine football.”
1913 was an unsettled season for the Redlegs, due to a large number of retirements at the end of the previous year. Consequently Crawford was called upon to fill different positions; half forward, half back and eventually wing. It was as a wing man that he established an excellent reputation.His consistency was a highlight and for the next two seasons he was rarely out of best player lists.
Crawford did experience one low light in a game against West Torrens in early August 1913. He was reported by Steward, W L Jenkins who claimed Crawford had pushed Johnson of West Torrens violently in the back, knocking him over the boundary line thereby deliberately causing him to fall heavily. The charge was heard before Commissioner, Mr Cleland KC who disqualified David from playing for a month.
Despite playing in a Norwood side that sat at the foot of the table Crawford took his good form into the next season. At the 1915 annual general meeting he was awarded with best placed man award and it was said of him, ”This speedy and ever-alert player was a tower of strength to his side.”
As World War 1 took its toll and Norwood players enlisted in significant numbers, the inevitable occurred when the league was suspended in 1916. David did play a few more games for Norwood in 1916 in the somewhat controversial Patriotic League. These games were not recognised by the South Australian Football League and the patriotic competition was opposed by some, including the Norwood and Kensington Council. Norwood was forbidden to train or play on Norwood Oval.
B Ridge March 2020