Francis Lawrence HARBY


Guernsey Number: 6
Career: 1944
NFC Games: 0
NFC Goals: 0
Debut: v Port-Torrens (Adelaide) 20th May 1944
Finale: v Port-Torrens (Adelaide) 30th September 1944


Wartime competition 1942-1944
Norwood-North games: 13
Norwood North goals: 0

An outstanding schoolboy footballer at Rostrevor College, Frank Harby was a member of the Norwood-North team which beat Port-Torrens by six points in the exciting grand final of the patriotic competition at Adelaide Oval in 1944.

Norwood-North  finished the minor round behind its three rivals and had to win all three finals to take the premiership and shut out Port-Torrens for the second year in a row.  Frank was on a half-back flank as fortunes seesawed in a tight contest.  Norwood-North was smoother in attack early but rain at half-time turned the game into a slog.  Port-Torrens added two minor scores in the dying minutes but Norwood-North hung on for a 9.7 to 7.13 victory.

Frank came into the Norwood-North team with high credentials as captain and centreman of the Rostrevor College team which in 1943 had scorched most of its rivals. Rostrevor did lose to Concordia College but inflicted the first defeat on Prince Alfred College and finished a goal in front of a University team captained by Chester Bennett,  a former North Adelaide and Norwood league player.

Frank made his senior debut against Port-Torrens before an Adelaide Oval  crowd of 10,000 at the start of the 1944 season. Named 19th man, he came on in the third quarter when Stan Taylor retired with an injury.  Norwood-North on that occasion went down by two goals, 20.16 to 18.16. 

After premiership success in 1944, Frank came back to earth immediately league football resumed the following season, his new team, North Adelaide,  going down by five goals to Norwood.  Frank played 10 games with North, which finished fourth in 1945, one place below Norwood, and then returned to his home town, Port Lincoln.

He was vice-captain and centreman of the Tasman FC in 1946, a premiership player in 1947 and premiership captain in 1949. Tasman’s centre half-forward in those years was John Coligan, whose son Michael would kick 269 goals for Norwood. 
Frank Harby was an accomplished pianist, organist and violinist.

Born at Port Lincoln on 4 October 1925, Frank had a sister, Pauline, and a brother, Keith.  Their parents, William and Louise (Haddad) Harby,  had both been born at Mount Lebanon, Syria. Frank married Betty Colbert at the Rostrevor College Chapel  in 1950.  They had two sons and three daughters.  Frank  died on 12 April 1978 and is buried at Centennial Park.

P Robins, D Cox May 2020

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