Recruited from Victoria, big Tom Lindsay played a season with South Adelaide before contributing to Norwood premierships as a solid forward in 1882 and 1883.
Tom was born at Hamilton in 1861, one of 10 children of James Lindsay and his wife Ann, née Ramsay. In 1878 The Hamilton Spectator rated Tom the best kick in the district, a useful player centre or back.
His switch from South Adelaide to Norwood in 1882 was not without controversy. In pursuit of its fifth successive premiership, Norwood not only picked up the sublime ‘Jammy’ Watson from Melbourne but also Alex Frayne and John Brophy from the Victorians club - forerunner of North Adelaide - and the South Adelaide pair Tom Maloney and Tom Lindsay. An unnamed scribe in The South Australian Advertiser complained that “it must have been disappointing and disheartening to lovers of the game in visiting the playing grounds to witness well-known players in new and strange colors, and playing side by side with men whose opponents they were a season ago. This practice of ‘changing quarters’ is becoming altogether too common to be lightly passed over. Unless a player can show some good reason for deserting his old club no other club should make any effort to secure his services”.
Norwood duly finished top again, largely because of the scoring ability of its strong followers. In the opinion of ‘Goalpost‘ in The Adelaide Observer: “McKee, Lindsay, Dixson, Kauffman, and Duffy were at least equal to any forwards in the Association; but their goalkicking was too erratic to be generally relied on.” Tom Lindsay, however, did finish the season with a handy tally of five goals.
After Norwood added another flag in 1883, ‘Follower’ remarked in The South Australian Advertiser: “Traynor and Lindsay have not appeared regularly in the ranks, and their loss has been felt materially.” Tom kicked only one goal that season and a couple more in 1884 when Norwood’s run finally came to an end.
Tom was remembered, though. He is found in good company in a nostalgic poem which appeared in The Critic of 1 June 1910:.
When grand George Coulthard
played the game, and big Tom
And Paddy Roachock's little marks
the rival 'ballers tricked,
And Longdens ('Buff' and 'Top') were
in the front line, going free,
The game was fast from bell to bell
Tom Lindsay, laborer, married Rose Ann Jane Hartland in Maryborough , Victoria, in 1887. They had three sons and a daughter, James, Arthur, Thomas and Veronica (Vera). Tom died in Maryborough on 4 May 1933
P Robins, D Cox August 2019