Bill Gotts came to Adelaide as a lad from England and developed into a nippy first rover for the fledgling Glenelg Football Club before enduring a luckless short stint at Norwood.
He was born at Gateshead on 17 April 1904, one of two sons and six daughters of Samuel and Elizabeth (Armstrong) Gotts. Bill left London in July 1912 in the 'Beltana' and grew up at South Plympton. He began his football with the Black Forest Juniors at 16, joined the Glenelg seconds in 1921 and was a leading player with the league team from 1922 to 1925. He kicked two goals when Glenelg, at home, went down to Norwood by just one point, 10.13 to 10.11, in 1924.
A motor mechanic, Bill accepted a job with George Mason Ltd of Norwood in 1926. In the same year he married Marjorie Brenton at Maughan Church, Franklin Street, Adelaide - in a double ceremony with his elder brother Samuel - and also applied to play with Norwood.
His clearance took six weeks to come through and when he finally made his Norwood debut, against South Adelaide on 10 July 1926, he badly injured a knee early in the match and missed the rest of the season. He struggled in the first two games of 1927 and completed the season with 11 games and 16 goals in the Reserves. Meanwhile, he had founded the firm of Gotts & Aylward at Edwardstown and in 1928 played another season with Glenelg, bringing his record with that club to 49 games and 23 goals. He also was a useful cricketer.
Bill could be a scallywag. During 6 o'clock closing he was fined £5 plus 7/6 costs on a charge of having carried liquor from the Crown and Sceptre Hotel, Adelaide, at 8.45pm early in 1939 and £1 10/ plus 7/6 costs for having refused to give his name and address to the police. In September 1948 he was fined £50 plus costs for illegal bookmaking.
Bill was established at Lobethal when he enlisted for World War II service in the RAAF on 2 July 1940. He served in New Guinea and was a sergeant on discharge at 7 RAAF Hospital in Adelaide on 30 November 1945. Bill took an interest in Adelaide Hills football and was a spotter for Norwood. He was 78 when he died at Lobethal on 23 May 1982
P Robins Jan 2019