Known to his mates as ‘The Baron’, Dick Edgely was a gentleman player on the ball with South Adelaide before bowing out of the game with a season at Norwood.
He began with South Adelaide in 1880 and played three seasons there, being vice-captain of the Second 20 in 1882. According to The Evening Journal of 25 July 1925, Dick was an enthusiastic footballer and “as honest as the sun” at a time of alleged cadging – the enticing of a player away from his club by an offer of position and money.
Dick may well have been drawn to Norwood in 1883 because his great pal Charlie Chandler had just moved there from the old Victorians club, newly rebadged as North Adelaide. They made their Norwood debuts together against the rookie North Adelaide club at Adelaide Oval on 5 May 1883. Bigger and stronger, Norwood crushed the new chums 3.13 to 0.2 in sloppy conditions. But The South Australian Register was not impressed, saying that apart from the efforts of two or three prominent Norwood players from the previous season, such as ‘Jammie’ Watson and Paddy Roachock, “very little good football was shown on their side, and the North Adelaides certainly learned nothing from them in the science of the game”.
Chandler, a dashing wingman, went on to great deeds but Edgely faded out of football.
Dick Edgely and his twin brother John were born to William and Bridget Edgely in Wright St, Adelaide, in 1862. Sarah and Elizabeth followed in the next four years.
Dick and John played cricket for the Alberts in 1882. Dick was an esteemed employe of Harris Scarfe & Co for many years. He was 63 when he died at Hilton on 4 July 1925. Reports suggest he was survived by sons Albert and William.
P. Robins, D. Cox Feb 2020
* For the picture we thank football historians John Althorp, of the South Adelaide FC, and Trevor Gyss