Clarence Packham graduated through Norwood juniors to Norwood Seconds, where in 1910 he won the Carr Medal as the best all-round footballer in that grade. He eventually made his League against Sturt on 11th June 1910. He was a ruckman/follower, described by his peers as being highly skilled.
At the Norwood Annual General Meeting in March 1914, the President said of him, “A brilliant follower [who] also won the President’s Prize for the best all-round player in the club.”
He was rewarded in 1915 by being made club captain and coach and went on to win the club’s best and fairest the same year.
Typical of the news reports of the time was one written after a game against North Adelaide in May 1915 “Packham (ruck) shone out with magnificent marking... his play was clean and brilliant.”
Unfortunately for Packham, he entered the league side when Norwood was experiencing its first slump in their history, coming seventh four years in a row. Towards the end of his illustrious career the team’s fortunes changed. Clarence played in successive grand finals in 1920 and 1921 only to be on the losing side each time.
In the 1920 Grand Final it was reported that an early injury to Packham turned the tide of the match. One reporter wrote “Packham who had been doing great work in ruck was injured in a collision and was carried off the field on a stretcher. Norwood seemed discouraged by this accident to Packham.”
Clarence continued for two more seasons which were Norwood premiership years but injury in 1922 and influenza in 1923 prevented him from playing in either grand final.
Nonetheless, 104 games, 60 goals and captain coach in 1915 ensured he deservedly received Club Life Membership.
B Ridge Feb 2014