Richmond (Melbourne) 1871-74 and club secretary in 1873, Woodville captain 1876-77
Born in Truro, Cornwall in 1852, his father emigrated to Victoria in 1854 and his mother came out three years later when the reunited family settled in Richmond. Joseph acquired a sound education at the Richmond Seminary, and in 1874 at the age of twenty-one moved to South Australia. In 1876 as Woodville captain he was regarded as a ‘good all round player who plays hard for his club’ and was a member of a South Australian committee for securing the adoption of Victorian Rules formed following a meeting at the Prince Alfred Hotel on 20 July 1876. A major instigator in the formation of the SAFA the following year, he was treasurer of that body as well as being a Woodville committee member on the association. He represented a Combined Team against Melbourne Football Club at the Exhibition Ground on 13 August 1877 and was named among the best players.
Osborn played 12 games in 1878, was a fine half back with a neat and long kick, and an admirable leader in the first season. He also represented Victorian Residents in a match against the South Australian Natives on 11 May.
From Whimpress, B 1878; Norwood’s first year, by B Whimpress, research by M Coligan. Norwood, Norwood Football Club History Group, 2013 p 82