Wartime competition 1942-1944
Norwood-North games: 6
Norwood-North goals: 4
Len Foweraker's league career began with West Adelaide in 1933 but early in 1938 he came to live in the Norwood area and was consequently cleared to the Redlegs.
Although established as a dashing wingman, due to a spate of injuries Len was chosen in a back pocket for the opening match of the 1938 season against Sturt. Norwood won by 17 points and Len was named among his side’s best.
So began the career of one of Norwood’s greatest utility players. An article in The Mail in August 1938 reported, “A great utility man, Foweraker has played in a back pocket, half back, half forward and centre wing.” He consequently won the club’s Best All-Round Player Award in his first two seasons.
No matter what position he played Foweraker won plaudits for his exceptional skill and pace. The Mail reported that he, “ Marked and kicked flawlessly.”
After a game against Port in September 1938, The Chronicle commented, “Foweraker’s clean handling and exceptional speed made him invaluable to Norwood.”
By mid 1939 Len was back playing on the wing with such form that he was a late inclusion in the State team when Laurie Cahill pulled out with injury.
1941 was a tumultuous season for Foweraker. The year started ominously when in March he escaped serious injury when his car collided with another at the corner of Pirie and Pulteney Streets and overturned. His car was severely damaged.
By mid-season he had settled into a back pocket and was being seriously considered for State selection in that position. However the highlight was in early October when Norwood reached the Grand Final. The ever versatile Len Foweraker was chosen this time in a forward pocket. He kicked two goals as Norwood became Premiers by defeating Sturt by 29 points.
By 1942 football was suffering due to the demands of war. A Patriotic League was formed in which Norwood combined with North. Len played a half a dozen games for this side when in July The News reported, “Foweraker withdrew from the Norwood-North side because of military duties.”
Later that month The Mail reported that a match had been held in Central Australia between two service teams; The SA Croweaters and the Vic Yarra Yabbies. It further noted that, “Former Norwood stalwart Foweraker played coolly in the centre.” Sadly the Vics. won.
By early 1946 Len was back in civilian life and at the Norwood AGM in February was awarded Player Life Membership. He went on to play the 1946 season mainly at centre.
His last game was against Sturt at Norwood. It was the last game of the minor round; an exciting affair with the Redlegs winning with the last kick of the match. Sadly for Len he sustained a leg injury causing him to miss the finals, including being part of the 1946 Premiership side.
Nonetheless, Len Foweraker was a Premiership player, State Representative, Player Life Member and Ex-Serviceman and certainly, a great man of Norwood.
B Ridge Oct 2014