Eric Matthews was born locally, schooled at East Adelaide Primary and Norwood High, and lived his entire life in the local suburb of Stepney.
He was a member of the of the victorious South Australian team winning the Hudson Gold Cup Schoolboys Championship of Australia held in Canberra in 1935.
Nicknamed "Jumbo", he began with Norwood's Colts in 1937 and went on to captain the 1938 and 1939 Colts teams.
He was a very effective ruckman and defender who made his league debut in 1941 playing three games before enlisting in the armed services on his 20th birthday.
Matthews did not return to the club until 1945 when he played as a follower, changing in the back pocket. He featured in the club's grand final triumphs of 1946 and 1948.
Matthews captained the Reserves in 1951 and was joint runner-up for the 1951 Reserves Magarey Medal. In the same year he easily won the Nitschke Medal for the best ruckman of the competition.
The following season Matthews won the club's Reserves Best and Fairest and was named in the State Reserves team to play the Upper Murray Association; however he was forced to withdraw with an injured elbow.
He continued his playing career captain coaching the Maylands Methodist Football Club to premierships in 1953, 1954, 1955 and 1957 in the then strong United Church Football League. In 1953 he was also named coach of Norwood's Colts.
After retiring from playing he maintained his interest in football with the then SA Amateur Football league as a State selector and umpire observer until his death in 1979.
R Cialini Nov 2013, A Matthews Sept 2023