Charles Driffield was a promising junior who briefly came into the Norwood team towards the end of the 1883 premiership season and then moved on.
A skilled exponent of the drop kick, he was regarded as a valuable acquisition as Norwood virtually clinched the premiership with a six-goals-to-three win over Port Adelaide at Alberton Oval on 25 October. Port scored early but Charles kicked an equalising goal which set Norwood on the path to victory.
Charles was born at North Adelaide on 9 January 1863, attended the North Adelaide Grammar School and St Peters College. He was a smart junior footballer with North Adelaide and North Park between 1879 and 1885. He also represented the Adelaide senior team in 1885.
Initially he worked for his father, F. S. C. Driffield, a former secretary of the Adelaide Chamber of Commerce, and then joined the staff of the Bank of Adelaide. In 1884, he was an enthusiastic but unsuccessful gold prospector at Teetulpa, in north-east SA. He tried jackerooing and for some years was a mining secretary and sharebroker in NSW and Kalgoorlie.
In the Broken Hill drought of 1888, foul water bred deadly typhoid fever. The only good water was in the Rathole tank. When the NSW Mines Minister, Francis Abigail, refused to release it, he was burnt in effigy by a throng at the public sports ground. Among the incendiaries was Charles, whom the same minister had appointed a few months earlier as a trustee of the reserve.
On his return to Adelaide from Kalgoorlie in 1894, Charles became attached to the office of leading cricket and football administrator John Creswell before entering business on his own account as a secretary and accountant. In 1902 he joined Goode, Durrant & Murray and served as company secretary until his retirement though ill-health in 1929. He also ended his 19-year stint as chairman of the Adelaide Circulating Library.
Charles earlier had served as honorary secretary of the St John Ambulance Association and the Drought-Distressed Farmers' Fund. A keen reader and gardener, he led a protest against the threatened destruction of North Terrace elm trees in 1928.
He died at North Adelaide on 18 May 1930, survived by his widow Edith Helen, daughter of Dr Alexander Kelly, founder of the Tintara vineyards at McLaren Vale.
P Robins Dec 2017