John Joseph (Andy) FORRESTAL


Guernsey Number:
Career: 1895 to 1897
NFC Games:
NFC Goals:
Debut: v North Adelaide (Kensington) 6th July 1895
Finale: v Port Adelaide (Adelaide) 1st September 1897


'Andy' Forrestal established his place in the Norwood senior team with an impressive display in the opening match of the 1896 season after having moved the previous year from junior club West Adelaide. “Forrestal’s slouch hat was a good deal in evidence, and this player is going to make a reputation for himself,” said Quiz and Lantern on 21 May 1896.  Launching its successful campaign for consecutive premierships, South Adelaide led 4.1 to 1.5 at halftime and 4.4 to 2.9 at lemons, but Norwood contested splendidly for a draw, 4.5 to 4.12 (behinds not counting before 1897), and might well have won with straighter kicking.

Andy had played well on debut at Kensington Oval on 6 July 1895 when he and another junior, Charles Sabine from Glenelg, enjoyed the 15.8 to 2.4 shellacking of North Adelaide.  He was an effective defender three weeks later when Norwood beat Port Adelaide at Alberton Oval, 5.1 to 2.7, but was not selected for the premiership decider which South won 9.8 to 3.2.

Andy was a solid performer as a forward flanker or occasional midfielder as Norwood finished second in 1896 and third in 1897.  With two last-quarter goals, he propelled Norwood to a one-point victory over Collingwood, 7.9 to 7.8, at Adelaide Oval on Monday 15 July 1897.  He was in the best players in his last Norwood game, at Adelaide Oval on 1 September 1897.when Norwood drew with the premier, Port, both teams scoring 2.6.

With the advent of electoral football, Andy in 1898 transferred back to West Adelaide, which had returned to senior football in 1897 after its one-season debacle of 1887.  West and Norwood played a curious match at Jubilee Oval in August 1898.  Norwood began with barely half a team, kicking against the wind, but took control and, boosted by the acquisition of one or two onlookers after half-time, sailed home 4.17 to 1.7.  Umpire John Woods reported Andy and teammate Edward Monck for the alleged use of “disgusting language” and they were suspended for the first three months of 1899.  Andy retired after the 1900 season, having kicked 18 goals in 25 games with West.

In his younger days he was a prominent cyclist.  An older brother, Tom, shone at running and cricket.

Born in Adelaide on New Year’s Day 1873 to Thomas and Mary (Tierney) Forrestal, Andy had five brothers and two sisters.  He married Mary Gertrude Hanretty in Subiaco, WA, in 1903.  He died at 79 in Perth on 26 October 1952, survived by his widow and sons Joseph and William.  He is buried at Karrakatta Cemetery.

P. Robins, D. Cox June 2021

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