Norwood launched Hermy Kruss on a stellar football career cut short by an industrial accident in Western Australia. He saved his best deeds for South Adelaide and South Australia. A broad-shouldered follower, Hermy played his greatest game under the patronage of the Governor, Lord Tennyson, and Lady Tennyson at Adelaide Oval on 3 August 1901 when South Australia crunched Victoria 6.11 to 5.5. Not only was he voted best on ground by public acclaim, but he also received a personal letter from Her Ladyship complimenting him upon his unusual cleverness and fine physique.
Born in Adelaide on 30 April 1876, Hermy made no waves as Norwood defeated North Adelaide 11.7 to 4.4 in the opening match of the 1896 season. Indeed, The South Australian Register remarked that "eastern members were represented by a poor combination" and North also had good men away.
Hermy joined the exodus of Norwood players to WA and played 11 games with Fremantle Imperials in 1897.
Back home, he bolstered South Adelaide from 1898 to 1903, celebrating premierships in 1898 and 1899. At the end of the 1898 season, The Evening Journal said: "In Kruss the blue-and-whites picked up a clinker, and whether defending or in the ruck he was always a conspicuous figure, and one of the best marks in the Association."
Hermann Kruss and Norwood's Charlie Gwynne were rated the best followers of their day. Hermy was South captain in 1901 and an automatic selection in SA teams.
He returned to WA in 1904 and played six games with Perth. In 1905, while working as a carpenter on a poppet head at the Great Fingal Mine in Boulder, he overbalanced and fell 40 feet to the ground. Severe injuries to his right hip and internally left him completely incapacitated.
He was only 37 when died at the North Adelaide Private Hospital on 28 March 1914. He was survived by his brothers Alby, a prominent football umpire and official, Ralph and Peter.
P Robins April 2018