Lewis Harvey’s senior career had barely started when doubts about his eligibility were raised, threatening Norwood’s ultimately successful campaign for the 1889 premiership.
“According to report,” said ‘Goalpost’ in The South Australian Register of 5 July 1889, “Harvey came from a junior Association in Victoria and was therefore disqualified from playing in a Senior Association before getting permission. The rule referring to the matter is a new one, and provides in addition to the club’s losing the match that a heavy fine may be imposed, and should the offence be repeated three times the club shall be unqualified from playing any Association match during the remainder of the season. The Norwoods played Harvey against Port Adelaide, Adelaide and Medindie, but I have not heard that any of the clubs are likely to take action in the matter.”
A week later ‘Goalpost’ quoted a Norwood official as saying: “Harvey has not played in any other Association in Victoria or elsewhere this year, so a permit was not required.”
A somewhat apologetic ‘Goalpost’ then wrote on 15 June: “Last week I mentioned that Harvey, one of Norwood’s new men, came from Nhill, and I have since ascertained that he is a Narracoorte player, and was reckoned to be one of the best forward men in the South-East.”
Harvey played at least four senior games for Norwood in the latter part of the 1889 season but was one of five men omitted from the team which beat Port Adelaide by two goals in the competition’s first grand final.
He was noticed for his excellent work in Norwood’s 5.2 to 2.4 defeat of Adelaide & Suburban at Kensington Oval on 1 June 1890. He played at least five senior games that season and kicked five goals, including three in the 10.13 to 1.3 hammering of Adelaide at Kensington Oval on 28 June.
Harvey kicked a goal in Norwood’s 14.14 to nil whitewash of Adelaide at Adelaide Oval on 9 May 1891. He was a member of the Norwood party which then visited Tasmania. On the way he kicked two goals when Norwood defeated South Ballarat 5.13 to 4. 5 on 23 May and helped Norwood beat Carlton 6.13 to 3.3 at the South Melbourne Cricket Ground on 25 May.
He may well have been in the Norwood team which played two matches against Southern Tasmania, losing 3.9 to 6.18 under the patronage of the Governor on 30 May and winning 6.6 to 4.7 on 2 June, declared a public holiday for the occasion. We hear no more of him as a footballer.
Lewis was born at Gawler on 27 October 1868 to William Harvey and his wife Mary Ann, née Summerton. He had seven sisters and four brothers, born variously at Mount Gambier, Mount Schank and Adelaide. Lewis married Jane Harrison in Norwood in 1896 and the couple lived in First Avenue, East Adelaide. They had four children, Muriel, Evelyn, Leonard and Russell. A painter by trade, Lewis died at Beulah Park on 1 August 1933. His grandson Michael resembles Norwood’s L. Harvey in photographs taken at the same age.
If it was not A. Lewis Harvey who played for Norwood, it could have been Louis A. Harvey, who was born on 6 June 1867, married Ellen Cahill at Hindmarsh in 1888 and died on 2 February 1934.
P Robins, D Cox, G Adams June 2023