Charles Field added some stability to the Norwood defence at a time of flux, with half a dozen regulars lost to the Western Australian goldfields and some 40 players tried during the 1896 season.
Born on 4 April 1874, Charles was the eldest child of Henry Field and his wife Elizabeth, née Butler. Later progeny were James, Richard, Harriet, Ethel, Frank and Elizabeth.
Charles made his Norwood debut in the final minor round game of 1895, against Port Adelaide at Adelaide Oval on 21 September. South Adelaide had already clinched the premiership and there was little interest in the match, played by patchwork teams before just a couple of hundred spectators. Each team had only about nine of its regular players but Norwood, which started a man short, was untroubled to win, 8.8 to 4.4. Field was one of a bunch of players whose efforts were rated by The Advertiser as “of signal success”.
In 1896 Norwood was casting around for players to cover the loss from its ranks of Os Bertram, Jim Mullaney, ‘Tuck’ Metherell, Charlie Atkins, Tom Coombe and Ted Handke. Charles was one who answered the call, regularly appearing in the best players in his 10 games that season. He played well at Adelaide Oval on 4 July as Norwood coasted home against Port Adelaide. A couple of his team-mates even left the ground as it got dark in the last quarter, allowing Port to pinch a couple of consolation goals in the gloom, but Norwood was never threatened in winning 10.11 to 5.7.
At the same venue a week later Charles was Norwood’s best player against South Adelaide, which was surging towards its second successive premiership. Norwood welcomed the return of Handke from the goldfields, but despite the efforts of Field, Bill Correll and Alexander Thomson, a smooth-moving South cruised to a 6.5 to 4.4 victory.
Charles again was prominent against South in a competitive contest before a good crowd at Adelaide Oval on 1 August, Norwood going down 9.8 to 5.6 after a third quarter lapse.
Charles, only 22, did not wear the red and blue again. One can speculate that his early retirement was prompted by his marriage that year to Emily Sophia Linn, with whom he would have sons Harry and William. Charles Field died at Renown Park on 19 December 1952
P. Robins, D. Cox, G. Adams May 2020