A lean six-footer from Snowtown, Brian Matheson kicked 10 goals for Norwood against Central District in a Reserves game at Norwood Oval on 30 May 1964.
After Norwood’s thumping 22.16 to 9.11 victory, The Advertiser reporter Ray Polkinghorne named Brian best on ground, describing him as “a finely balanced player with safe hands and a deadly left-foot punt”. Polkinghorne declared that Matheson’s brilliant display showed “Norwood will seldom be short of top-class full forwards”.
Born on 6 August 1942, Brian was 18 when he came to the city to find employment. He began his career in the Norwood Reserves as a wingman but, moved to full forward, kicked eight goals in six games in 1963 and 44 goals in 17 games in 1964.
His consistency as a goalsneak earned him selection with Gary Gurney as the Norwood representatives in the State Seconds team which defeated Broken Hill in a wild match at the Barrier in 1964. There were many hostile incidents in the Jubilee Oval game, which the visitors won 11.15 to 6.11. Brian kicked three goals and was named in the best players.
Brian kicked four goals in three league appearances. Limited opportunities at the senior level prompted his early retirement – a decision he would come to regret somewhat in later years – but he maintained his fitness as a professional runner and a league boundary umpire. He was the state 130 yards professional running champion in 1966. He participated in 115 league games as a boundary umpire, including the 1972 grand final between Port Adelaide and North Adelaide.
Looking back with 2020 vision, Brian said: “The Norwood Football Club was responsible for my life’s greatest reward, when team-mates and myself discovered the Norwood Town Hall ballroom dance on Saturday nights (and) where one night I met my future wife, Lorraine.”
P Robins, G Adams April 2020
* We thank Brian Matheson for the picture and other input