E. W. King came from Collingwood to a Norwood team still recovering from the previous year’s exodus of experienced players to the goldfields of Western Australia. No fewer than 14 new men were tried during the 1896 season.
King, according to The Advertiser, was “very conspicuous” in the opening game as Norwood defeated lowly North Adelaide 11.7 to 4.4 at Adelaide Oval. He was prominent again a week later when Norwood hammered the inexperienced Natives 6.12 to 0.1 at Kensington Oval.
He was named in the best players after Norwood beat North 8.8 to 2.8 at Adelaide Oval on 31 May. Under a new rule introduced when Norwood met Port Adelaide at the same venue a week later, the ball had to travel at least five yards to qualify for a mark. Norwood played poorly but led 2.0 to 1.3 at quarter time after a goal from King. Shots by King and Bill Plunkett hit the post late in the third quarter, giving Port a nine-point buffer at lemons, and it went on to win 7.9 to 5.6. King was named Norwood’s third-best player, after ‘Boots’ Stuart and Bert Carroll. We have no record of him after that match
A decline in football attendances in 1896 was attributed to the popularity of horse racing and a boom in cycling. Norwood, with 10 wins, six defeats and two draws, finished second to South Adelaide, which went through the season undefeated.
We can speculate that E. W. King may have been the Edward William King who was born at Riverton on 27 November 1871 to James King and his wife Mary Ann, née Gairne or Gain. Edward married Theresa May Brady in 1899 and their children were May, Bill, Irene and Ted. Edward died in Adelaide on 3 July 1943 and is buried at West Terrace Cemetery.
P Robins, D Cox March 2022