Norwood junior, Vincent Gibbons, like so many of his compatriots could not have chosen a more unfortunate time to commence a league career than 1914. World War 1 was on the horizon and soon league football would be in recess for three years as a consequence.
Vincent played in the early trials and was chosen in the B side to take on the A team. He was small in stature but quick and evasive. He played mostly as a half forward and at times took on a roving role.He played well enough to win a position in the seconds for the first round against Sturt at Unley.
It is important to note that this was one of Norwood’s most challenging times. For the first time in their history they finished last in 1913 and during 1914-15 lost players to war service at a greater rate than any other club. Not an easy time for Gibbons to make his mark.
He played all but two games in the seconds where he made a good impression with his dash and an ability to snap goals from spilled marks.
He was given his opportunity in the league side for the last two games of the season against North and West. It was an auspicious start. Gibbons added life to the forward line and although anchored to the bottom of the table Norwood won both games to salvage something from a dismal year.
In 1915, Vincent became a regular member of the league side. Reporters of the day wrote of his clever dodging and quick movement. Nonetheless Norwood were in line to finish at the bottom of the premiership table for their third wooden spoon.
He played his last game in August 1915 in what was to be Norwood’s last game for three years. He was named in the best players but the game ended in a loss to West Adelaide.
Like many others of this era Vincent’s career came to a premature end.
B Ridge Oct 2020