Richard Rowett’s football career was interrupted and cut short by World War I. A sure mark and kick, he began as a forward with South Adelaide in 1912 and finished at Norwood in 1919.
A member of South Adelaide’s B grade premiership team in 1914 and a regular league player in 1915, Richard stripped for Norwood for the first time in the Patriotic competition. He made his debut against Port Adelaide on 3 June 1916 and, according to The Express and Journal, “was just getting into his stride in the last quarter. He got in some beautiful long drop-kicks”. Despite his efforts, the winless Norwood team “had their gruel served up to them again” in going down 13.16 to 4.6.
Norwood had many key players away at the war and was even barred by the local council from using Norwood Oval, which was lying partially idle. Because of these handicaps, Norwood did not field a team in the Patriotic competition in 1917 and 1918, forcing Richard to play with South Adelaide in 1918.
Back with Norwood in 1919, Richard did not celebrate a win in his four league games but was named high in the best players in the 12.9 to 10.10 defeat by West Torrens at Hindmarsh Oval on 7 June.
In 1924 he was appointed an employes’ representative on the Glassmakers’ Board.
Born in Adelaide on 9 November 1891 to Richard Stephen Rowett and his wife Martha, née Lock, young Richard had four sisters and two brothers. A younger brother, William, was a defender with South Adelaide before becoming a leading boundary umpire in the 1920s.
Richard married May Evelyn Pilben in the Methodist Manse, South Terrace, in 1910. Living at Payneham in latter years, they had a son and five daughters. Richard was 66 when he died on 13 March 1967
P Robins, D Cox July 2019