Frank Groutsch was a talented Broken Hill forward whose promising career at Norwood ended just three games into the 1924 season when he suffered a serious knee injury.
One of 10 children, Frank was born at Broken Hill in 1901 to a French father, Jean Pierre Groutsch, and his wife Mary Teresa (née Nihill). Some family members changed the surname to Groutch during World War I to make it look less German, but Frank and his wife and children all retained the original spelling.
Playing at centre half-forward on debut with Norwood, Frank goaled with a neat punt in the first quarter and sank a 50-yarder in the last but the visiting Port Adelaide side was too good on the day, winning 9.12 to 7.15. Norwood beat West Adelaide by seven goals in the next match and then faced West Torrens at home. It was a cracker of a game which went right down to the wire, but sadly for Frank his knee packed up and he could not take the field in the last quarter. Defender Murray Dobson took over at centre half-forward. The lead seesawed to the end and the match ended in a draw, an inaccurate Norwood scoring 9.15 to the visitors' 10.9.
Frank, a motor mechanic, ran a service station at Broken Hill but spent some time in Adelaide at the family's Rose Park home and was a prominent player with St Ignatius in the Catholic Tennis Association. It was there that he met his wife, Alma Ethel Clarke, of Norwood, and they were married at Broken Hill in 1933. They had three children, David, a prominent footballer with North Broken Hill , Jennifer (Bucchorn) and Paul.
Frank Groutsch died at Broken Hill in 1957, survived by his wife and children.
* Picture and family lore kindly supplied by George Groutsch's daughter, Jennifer Bucchorn, and her cousin John Groutch.
P Robins & D Cox Jan 2019