Francis John MADDIGAN


Guernsey Number: 28
Career: 1937
NFC Games: 1
NFC Goals: 0
Debut: v West Adelaide (Wayville) 24th April 1937
Finale: v West Adelaide (Wayville) 24th April 1937


F J (John) Maddigan played one game for Norwood, selected as 19th man against West Adelaide in round one on April 24th 1937 at the Wayville Showgrounds. At the time he was aged 19. Wearing number 28, he played the remainder of the season as a wingman in the Norwood Association (reserves) team which won the premiership. 

Maddigan was recruited from Gladstone where he was well regarded for his abilities in cricket, football and athletics. In 1936, the year before he came to Adelaide, he represented Mid-North in the SACA Country Cricket Carnival and took the only hat trick of the carnival in a match against Southern at the Adelaide Oval. In the same year he was named best on ground playing in the centre for Northern Areas in its victory over Broughton in the final of the first Port Pirie Football Carnival, having defeated Port Pirie the day before.

While at Norwood John met his future wife, Gwen Hughes, who was the daughter of Fred Hughes, an NFC committee-man who operated a butcher shop on the Parade diagonally opposite the Norwood Oval under the name of W P Hughes and Sons. Gwen was the social secretary of the Norwood Football Club for several years and, as representative of the club, gained second place in the League’s Queen competition in 1939.

After his days at Norwood John moved to Renmark in his employment with the railways. Official football and cricket were in recess due to World War 2, but John was instrumental in the establishment of patriotic games which doubled as fundraisers between locals and troops camped in the district. Known throughout the district as Jack Maddigan, he captained one of the teams and became widely recognised as one of the competition’s outstanding players. With the resumption of Upper Murray football after the war he played an important part in the Renmark Rovers Football Club as a player, coach and club secretary. Jack was awarded life membership of the Renmark Rovers in recognition of his contributions. He also served the Upper Murray League as an umpire for several seasons, being widely regarded as the best umpire in the league in a number of articles and reports in the Murray Pioneer.

While in Renmark, Jack changed his summer sport to tennis and captained the Renmark Town team to victory in the Upper Murray Lawn Tennis Association in the first year of post war competition. His wife, Gwen, was a member of the same team.

From Renmark John and Gwen became manager and manageress of the Risdon Hotel (Port Pirie), The Clare Hotel, Warradale Hotel, Finsbury Hotel, Glynde Hotel and Clovercrest Tavern. John was also manager of the Norwood Club on the Parade in the late1960’s.

John Maddigan had a photo of his 1937 Norwood Association Premiership Team on his wall until his death in his 96th year, 10th February 2013.

R Maddigan Aug 2016

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