William Bramley McCallum was born at Magill and attended Norwood Central School. In 1924, Norwood great Walter (Wacka) Scott visited the school and made a big impression on the young Bill McCallum, who was inspired to go on and win a Magarey Medal one day.
As a junior, Bill McCallum played for the Kensington Football Club. He made his league debut for Norwood in round two 1931 but only played another two senior games that year. Deciding to then embark on an intense training schedule, McCallum was far better prepared for the following season, and topped the club's goal-kicking with 37 goals from his 14 appearances.
After another solid season in 1933 (19 games) he was named Norwood's "Most Improved" and made the State second eighteen that played Victoria on the Adelaide Oval. Despite talk at the end of the season that Bill and his brother Frederick (Perce) had attracted interest from VFL clubs, in particular St. Kilda, the boys remained in SA
By now a regular contributor, Bill McCallum played 16 games in 1934, and 18 in 1935 when he was named "Best All-Round player" and again represented the State.
In 1936 Syd Ackland was Norwood's new coach and he decided to try McCallum in the pivot. It proved to be an outstanding move for the high marking, long kicking utility. McCallum won Norwood's best and fairest trophy as well as the coveted Magarey Medal - despite missing the last three minor round matches due to injury. He also played against Victoria and Western Australia.
McCallum was moved back to defence in 1937 (16 games). During the season he completed his 100 game milestone, was the recipient of the best utility award and represented SA in the interstate carnival held in Perth.
In 1938 McCallum had a falling out with the Norwood selectors over his omission for the round 10 clash against North Adelaide. After being omitted following the round six game against South Adelaide on 28 May, he played one game in the B team and then returned to the league side for the matches against Port Adelaide and West Torrens. For the following five weeks he played for the Payneham Football Club in division two amateur league, before returning to Norwood and playing out the rest of the year.
McCallum had a good year in 1939, making 16 league appearances and representing SA against Victoria and Broken Hill on the Adelaide Oval. He then played 11 games in 1940 and 12 in 1941.
Bill was brilliant in the 1941 Grand Final. He rucked superbly and kicked four goals when resting in a forward pocket - a great way to finish his career.
His older brother Frederick "Perce" ( 172 NFC games, 1930 - 1940) was coach of the 1941 premiership side. The brothers had given the Redlegs wonderful service in the 1930's and it was fitting for them to share in the team's success. Perce also managed the Colts for many seasons, and was a SANFL Delegate/ Director/Commissioner. He was also Club Secretary from 1947-1949.
The brothers' father, Frederick J McCallum had a very strong connection with the Norwood Colts, having been involved from the junior competition's beginning in 1936. The McCallum Medal for the fairest and most brilliant Under 17 player in the SANFL, introduced in 1939, was named after him.
Bill enlisted in the RAAF soon after the 1941 Grand Final victory. After World War II he spent some time umpiring in the country, as well as helping out with Colts football.
In 1948 he coached the Norwood Reserves
R Cialini April 2020