Eric Alfred Johnson was an all-round athlete who gave the Norwood Football Club wonderful service on and off the field. He attended Wellington Road Primary School, and then Norwood High School where he was prominent at football, cricket and rifle shooting.
On leaving school in 1919 Johnson joined the East Torrens Football Club, at the time affiliated with the Young Men's Christian Association. He captained the team from 1920 to 1922.
In 1923 he was invited to train for the Norwood B's, where he played mainly as a forward, leading the team's goal-kicking in 1924. On two occasions he represented the South Australian National Football Association against teams from the Yorke Peninsula.
Johnson made his league debut in round four of 1925, but only appeared in a handful of games in his first two seasons of senior football.
In 1927 he played 13 league games and was named Norwood's best rover for the year; he had cemented his spot in the team.
Named "most improved" in 1928 (16 games), Johnson travelled with the team to Melbourne and Sydney, kicking six goals against Port Adelaide in an exhibition match on the Sydney Show Ground.
Johnson was an integral member of the 1929 premiership side. Selected at full-forward, he played 19 games during the season and kicked four majors in the Grand Final victory against Port Adelaide.
In 1930 he added another 16 games and was named "most consistent". The following year he made 18 appearances and was the team's "best rover".
1932 was possibly his best season for the club, being named "best all-round player", reaching his 100 game milestone, and representing South Australia against Victoria.
He was appointed Norwood captain in 1933 (15 games) and in 1934 completed 10 years' service as a player, hence qualifying for life membership. Johnson was one of four coaches used by Norwood at different times during 1935.
Johnson served on the Management Committee of the Norwood Football Club immediately after retiring as a player. He continued in this role until 1936 when he was appointed treasurer, a position he held until 1974 when illness curtailed his activities. Johnson also served on the Management Committee of the Past Players Association, was an original member of the NFC executive and was on the Redlegs Club committee. A tireless and unobtrusive worker for the club, he was popular with players and supporters alike.
In recognition of Eric Johnson's work for the club, Norwood introduced the annual E. A. Johnson Service Award.
In 2006 he was an inaugural inductee to the Norwood Football Club Hall of Fame.
A very good cricketer, Johnson played A Grade for East Torrens, Colts and Kensington Cricket clubs. The opening right-hand batsman also represented South Australia in first class cricket.
R Cialini Sept 2018