Charlie Grayson was a younger brother of Alf Grayson, the four-time premiership player who is honoured as a member of the Norwood Football Club Hall of Fame. Charlie played eight games under Alf’s captaincy in 1891 but missed selection for the final match in which Norwood clinched the premiership with victory over Port Adelaide.
Charlie and Alf were sons of highly respected Adelaide citizen Lawrence Grayson, who came from England as an engineer in the immigrant ship Lady Anne in 1859 and entered government service in the locomotive department of the railways. Lawrence was prominently connected with religious, friendly society and philanthropic movements. He was for 40 years secretary of Stow Congregational Church. He served two terms as MP for West Adelaide and in 1892 joined the Downer ministry as Commissioner of Public Works. As secretary and president of the Amalgamated Society of Engineers he played a leading role in the introduction of the Eight Hours’ Day. He was manager of the Union Engineering Company from 1881 until shortly before his death at 78 in 1916.
Lawrence married Mary Ann Shakespeare in 1863 and they had four sons and four daughters, Alice, Lawrence, Alfred, Charles, Walter, Mary Sophia, May and Ann.
Charlie was born on 8 or 9 May 1872. He was an all-round sportsman at Whinham College, North Adelaide. He played football mainly as a forward and kicked a goal in his first senior match as Norwood completed its 1890 season with a solid 11.8 to 2.6 win over South Adelaide. He showed promise in 1891 but bowed out at the start of the 1892 season after Norwood’s 15.16 to 1.2 demolition of Adelaide.
Charlie married Mary (Minnie) McQuillan in Western Australia in 1903 and they had four children, Alfred, who was killed in 1917 while serving as a private in the 11th Australian Infantry Battalion in France, Vincent, Lawrence and Marian. Predeceased by his wife, Charlie died in Adelaide on12 May 1946 and is buried at Centennial Park.
P. Robins, D. Cox, G. Adams Oct 2021