Frank Reuben GOODGER


Guernsey Number: 28
Career: 1914
NFC Games: 1
NFC Goals: 0
Debut: v South Adelaide (Norwood) 22nd August 1914
Finale: v South Adelaide (Norwood) 22nd August 1914


Perhaps the highlight of Frank Goodger’s football career was his selection in the South Australian B Grade team which defeated the NSW second grade eighteen by 15 points before a crowd of 2,000 in Sydney on 12 July 1913.

 Frank was named as a backman as SA, led by his Norwood team-mate Brunel Nash, won 8.10 to 6.7 at the Australian Football Ground after the teams were 4.5 apiece at half-time. A rematch planned for the Wednesday, four days later, was abandoned because the visitors had to be vaccinated against smallpox to satisfy Victorian authorities during the train trip home.

Mainly a B Grade player, Frank was a late inclusion in the league side when Len Chamberlain and Oscar Sellars dropped out before the match against South Adelaide  at Norwood Oval on 22 August 1914. A late goal by Guy Stephens gave Norwood an upset four-point win, 8.10 to 8.6.

Born at Norwood on 3 March 1891 to Thomas Goodger and his wife Margaret (Dempsey), Frank had four brothers and five sisters.

Frank, at 18, kicked three goals to steer Oxfords to a 5.8 to 5.3 victory over Cathedrals in a junior match at the start of the 1909 season.  Norwood Juniors had presented Oxfords with a new football before the game. In 1911 he kicked a goal and was named in the best players for Cornwall in its 7.10 to 3.8 defeat of Prospect Methodist in the Adelaide and Suburban final.

Frank played for Norwood B in 1913, 1914 and 1915 before World War I interrupted football.  In 1919 his life changed.  He was a member of the Norwood Central team which lost to Payneham in the East Torrens Football Association final in September and then, two days after Christmas, he married Mary Williams of Kensington in the Clayton Congregational Church.

Frank Goodger died on 13 November 1960. A younger brother, Herbert, was the father of Norwood official Max Goodger, who was awarded club life membership in 1984 after a long record of service that began in 1966 – under 17s sprigger, trainer, team manager; under 19s team manager, selector, recruitment manager; league statistics recorder with his brother Murray and son Denis; reserves team manager and league team assistant manager.  Max’s wife Rena helped at Carmel Court, Norwood’s home for recruits. Murray Goodger was a Norwood reserves player.  Denis Goodger  played under 17s, under 19s and reserves.  Denis’s uncle Colin Goodliffe was awarded club life membership after 20 years as a trainer. 

 P. Robins, M. Coligan Jan 2020


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