Bob Hammond joined Norwood in 1974 as captain/coach after a long and distinguished playing career with North Adelaide spanning 234 games from 1960 to 1973.
Hammond introduced a new training regime to Norwood in his first pre-season with an emphasis on physical conditioning, endurance and weight training. Several physical education specialists were appointed to supervise the fitness program and monitor players progress throughout the year.
Hammond’s first year was relatively successful as the team recorded 16 wins and six losses over the minor round. A disappointing finals campaign however, saw the team bow out with successive losses to Port Adelaide and Glenelg.
Hammond led the team on the field for just fourteen games before retiring as a player midway through 1975.
In 1974 and again in 1975 the team was strengthened by some judicious recruiting. Rodney Pope and Greg Nicholson came from West Adelaide in 1974, and in 1975 Norwood was able to sign Stephen Kerley from Melbourne and Graeme Dunstan from Collingwood, a transfer that was secured as part of the arrangement to clear Phil Carman to Collingwood.
These signings along with earlier recruits, Ross Dillon and John Wynne, meant that Hammond had a core of experienced senior players to complement the younger players such as Craig, Woodcock, Rosser, Turbill and Gallagher.
The 1975 season opened with losses to Port and Sturt in the first two rounds but was followed by 16 successive victories and the the Grand Final win against Glenelg. Bob Hammond’s team brought Norwood its first premiership since 1950.
After premiership success, the following two seasons were disappointing for the club when it failed failed to finish higher than fourth position, but did win the Ardath Cup in 1977 by defeating East Perth in the National Football League.
The 1978 minor round was dominated by Sturt which, after one loss, finished six games ahead of second placed Norwood. Victories against Glenelg in the qualifying final and Port in the preliminary final saw Norwood in the Grand Final against the seemingly invincible Sturt team. In a barn storming final quarter the Redlegs won a classic by one point, a tribute to the vigorous training regime and direct attacking game that Hammond had brought to the club.
1979 was a disappointing year, when it was generally considered that Norwood had the strongest lineup in the league but finished in fourth position. It was also Bob Hammond’s final year as coach.
Hammond went on to coach the South Australian State of Origin team in its first win over the Victorian origin team in 1983 and in 1984 served as caretaker coach in eight games for the Sydney Swans.
He served as chairman of the Adelaide Football Club from 1991 to 2000 and in 2001 was named as back pocket in North Adelaide’s Team of the Century.
Bob Hammond’s outstanding contribution to football in the state was recognised in 2002 when he was inducted into the South Australian Football Hall of Fame and in 2015 to the Australian Football Hall of Fame.
W Heading Feb 2017