Wartime competition 1942-1944
Norwood-North games: 3
Norwood-North goals: 3
Douglas William Olds was a brilliant wingman, and is regarded as one of Norwood's best ever footballers. At 162cm, he was one of the smallest men to play league football, let alone represent his State. A clever, determined footballer with explosive pace, Doug Olds was a great exponent of the stab-kick and drop-kick, and was noted for his accuracy in finding leading forwards with his pinpoint disposal.
An apprentice in the printing trade, he moved from Maitland on the Yorke Peninsula as a 17 year-old, and played his first senior game in 1944 for the combined Norwood-North team in the wartime Patriotic League. In his first season, Olds played for both the Norwood-North league side and the Colts team.
The move by Olds to sign with Norwood, whilst playing for the Colts, was hotly disputed by North Adelaide. They claimed the Redlegs broke a gentleman's agreement that during the war competition there would be no attempt to further club interests, and that Olds should have been left as a country player down on a permit. The controversy threatened the existence of the Norwood-North side, which ultimately went on to win the flag, despite only winning three games in the minor round. The arguments continued for many years, however.
In 1945 the competition returned to normal. Olds played 17 games, was named best junior, and was runner-up in the Magarey Medal count. He also represented the State against Victoria and against a Victorian RAAF side. Olds had enlisted in the Navy, and was due for call-up on August 20, but the war had ended by then.
The following season he won the first of his best and fairest awards and was an important player in Norwood's Grand Final victory against Port Adelaide. The diminutive wingman played 19 league games for the year and represented South Australia in a drawn game against Victoria in Melbourne.
Olds won his second club best and fairest in 1947 (19 games) and was included in the State squad for the Hobart carnival.
He played in his second premiership in 1948 and again represented South Australia against Victoria.
The popular wingman had another excellent season in 1949 (18 games). He was voted the year's best and fairest player by a public opinion poll sponsored by a city business. 107,000 votes were received for the 18 rounds.
His great form continued into 1950 (19 games), with Olds playing in a third premiership and winning his third club best and fairest. Unfortunately, he injured his knee in Norwood's Grand Final victory against Glenelg and required an operation to remove a cartilage in late December. Olds was a member of the State team that travelled to Brisbane for the 1950 Carnival.
Injury restricted him to seven games in 1951, but he was able to play in 19 matches the following year. He was brilliant in the 1952 Grand Final despite Norwood's heavy loss to North Adelaide. Olds made 12 appearances in 1953 before the same knee required a second operation, ruling him out for the rest of the season.
Olds was awarded NFC Life Membership in 1954 - he played 11 games during the season. In 1957 (20 games) he became the first Norwood player to reach the 200 game mark. His final appearance was against Port Adelaide in the 1957 Grand Final.
After retiring from league football, Olds coached Payneham, and then the Norwood Reserves in 1961 (Premiers) and 1962.
He was appointed Norwood's league coach in 1963 and 1964, filling the void created by the departure of Alan Killigrew who had returned to Victoria to coach North Melbourne. Olds later went on to coach Gaza in the South Australian Amateur Football League.
Olds was named as one of the wingmen in the Norwood Team of the Century and in 2006 was an inaugural inductee to the NFC Hall of Fame.
A talented sportsman, Olds played A grade for the East Torrens Cricket Club, and was a professional runner in the Bay Sheffield Handicap race.
His brother Don also played league football for Norwood ( 16 NFC games, 1953-1956)
R Cialini Jan 2019