George Graham played at least one senior game for Norwood in 1897 and then, it seems, switched to lacrosse with East Torrens, representing South Australia before his untimely death at the age of 23.
As a youngster, George kicked three goals when Eastbourne II beat Regents 5.9 to 0.7 in 1890 and played well for Marryatville when it defeated new team Unley 2.5 to 0.3 at Unley Oval in 1893. He joined the Natives Football Club in 1895 and served on the committee. In his first game with the competition’s new club, Natives went down to Norwood 7.8 to 1.3 at Adelaide Oval on 4 May. When Port Adelaide beat Natives 9.7 to 2.5 at Alberton Oval on 18 May, George marked late in the day and was awarded a goal in the darkness despite protests from opposition players.
Cleared by Natives in 1896, George took part in Norwood’s 10.12 to nil demolition of his former team, renamed West Torrens, at Kensington Oval at the start of the 1897 season.
We can surmise that George was the East Torrens lacrosse player who defended stoutly for South Australia in victories over Victoria and NSW in 1904 and 1906. In August 1905 it was reported that he had “abandoned lacrosse on doctor’s orders”, but he came back late in the season and continued in fine fettle through 1906.
It was a false dawn. George, the youngest son of Mrs S. Graham, died at Burnside on 4 December 1906. The East Torrens annual report said: “During the year the club lost a valued member in George Graham, whose early demise was a blow to all.”
If not the lacrosse player, it is likely the Norwood footballer was George Robert Graham, who was born at Kensington on 25 July 1878 to Robert Graham and his wife Christina, née Smith. George had as many as six sisters and four brothers. He married Fredericka Maggs in May 1899 and they had a daughter, Violet. A carrier, George died at Norwood on 10 December 1927 and is buried at Payneham.
P. Robins, D. Cox, G. Adams, M. Giles November 2023