Late in the 1936 season Norwood looked to recruit a ruckman to bolster its association (seconds) side. They were interested in a tall, vigorous youngster, John Inglis, who was playing for Salisbury.
They liked what they saw and applied to the league’s Permit Committee to gain his registration. It was only then that it was revealed that Inglis had played one game for Port Adelaide seconds earlier in the season. It was also revealed that Port Adelaide had not registered him. The Permit Committee deemed that Inglis was not registered and had no intention of taking action against the player or Port Adelaide and he was free to play for Norwood.
John impressed in his few games in the seconds and returned for the 1937 trials. He stood out in these trials for his vigorous and fearless approach to the game. After a few games in the seconds he soon established himself as a league regular, leading the second ruck and sharing rucking duties with Bob McLean.
By 1939, John had won a number of admirers for his vigorous style. He was rewarded in mid 1939 when selected to play in a State trial. In supporting his selection the football reporter writing in The Mail wrote that ‘although some may not support his selection, I think he would do much better than the more fashionable followers of today. He is a rugged type, gives of his best at all times and his courage cannot be doubted.” Little wonder he gained the nickname, “Basher.”
At the 1940 Norwood AGM John won the award for best ruck play but his career was nearing its end; not due to injury or loss of form but the advent of World War II. On Wednesday, 12th June John together with a few friends reported to the North Terrace Depot and duly enlisted in the AIF.
The name Inglis was not to be lost to Norwood. His son, John Allen Inglis Junior between 1959 and 1968 had a distinguished 159 game career and was honoured with life membership.
B Ridge May 2022