Clarrie Nelson survived a tough early life to become a solid contributor to Norwood over six seasons, though never enjoying personal premiership success.
He lost his mother at his birth in Broken Hill on 21 June 1911 and his Swedish father returned to the sea, never to be seen again. Brought up by an aunt in Adelaide, Clarrie was welcomed by the Norwood family. Known to his mates as ‘Hooley Doolie’, he was 21 when he began playing with the Norwood reserve team . In addition to his 10 league games, he kicked 17 goals in 63 games for the reserves between 1932 and 1939, taking a season off for his marriage with Vicki Irvine on 7 March 1936.
A sporadic performer with the league team, he was 19th man on debut in 1934, kicked a goal against Sturt the following week and left the field with a shoulder injury in the first quarter of his last senior match, in the back pocket against Sturt in 1937.
Unluckily, he was not there for the reserves premiership teams of 1937, 1938 and 1939. He played the first 10 reserves games of 1937 before his injury
in league ranks, dropped out after 10 games in the first half of the 1938 season and managed only four games in the middle of 1939, the year his daughter Pam was born. Away from football, he showed ability at cricket as a wicketkeeper.
An electrician working mainly in refrigeration, Clarrie moved to Whyalla with his family in 1950 and established his own business there before becoming an agent and later manager for Airlines of South Australia. On visits to Adelaide he would dine at the Redlegs Club with Norwood stalwarts Ross Koster and Jack Masson .
Clarence Nelson was 77 when died in Whyalla on 24 August 1987, survived by his widow and daughter
P. Robins Jan 2020
* Picture and family information kindly supplied by Trevor Deacon, son-in-law of Clarence Nelson and a Norwood Colts player.