Thomas Balfour Cooper SARD


Guernsey Number: 7, 2
Career: 1919 to 1920
NFC Games: 7
NFC Goals: 2
Debut: v Sturt (Unley) 12th July 1919
Finale: v Sturt (Unley) 17th July 1920


Thomas Sard joined Norwood in 1919 after returning from active service overseas during World War 1. 

Sard was born on 27 November 1892 at Alberton and played junior football in the Port Adelaide district. Through 1910 and 1911 he played for Portland Imperial in the South Australian Association competition.

Sard was a journeyman who played at league level with three clubs, Port Adelaide, Norwood and North Adelaide and possibly his nomadic football life was determined by his placements as a teacher in state primary schools.

He joined the Port Adelaide Football Club in 1913 and played a number of games for the club’s B team during the year. In 1914 he does not appear on any of the Port Adelaide team lists but a Sard did play a season for University in the state amateur league.

In 1915 Sard appeared in pre-season practice games at Port Adelaide and came into the league team on 3 May after being named as an emergency for the game against South Adelaide on the Adelaide Oval. For the remainder of the season he alternated between the B team and the senior side.

In February 1916 the Port Adelaide mayor hosted a function to farewell several Port Adelaide players, including Sard, who had volunteered to enlist in the armed forces. Sard enlisted in October and later served with the 32nd Battalion in France, gaining the rank of 2nd Lieutenant. 

Prior to embarking with his battalion in 1918 Sard did play several games for Port Adelaide in the Patriotic League in 1916 and 1917.

After the war the diminutive rover joined Norwood and appeared in several B teams before gaining selection in the senior side. The team had an unsuccessful season in 1919, winning just one game and losing 11. Although he only played four games, Sard made an impression with the newspaper Critic 30 July 1919 noting “ A new player who is proving his worth is Sard, who is consistently good and on Saturday repeatedly put in splendid work as a rover”

Early in 1920 Sard was again on the move when he was transferred to take up a teaching position at Port Pirie. He made several appearances for the local Proprietary Football Club before moving back to Adelaide in July 1920. He played for Norwood on 10 July in a loss against Port Adelaide at Alberton and was named in the best players. The following week  he again made the best players when the team had a narrow win over Sturt at Unley on 17 July. This was to be his final senior game for Norwood although he did play for the B team against West Adelaide on 21 August.

In March 1921 Sard was appointed as chief assistant at North Adelaide Public School which could account for his transfer to the North Adelaide Football Club where he played another seven league games. 

1922 saw another promotion for Sard, when he moved to Barmera as headmaster of the local state school. He would have been a welcome addition to the Barmera Football Club as its senior team went through the season undefeated, winning the grand final against Berri with Sard named high in the best players. The following year Berri turned the tables and defeated Barmera in the grand final.

Thomas Sard was a popular and respected member of the Barmera community where he also played cricket, tennis and golf but in 1925 he was again transferred, this time to Nuriootpa and while he continued his career in education he does not appear to have resumed playing football.

Thomas Sard married Jean Riddoch on 26 January 1926

He passed away on 28 April 1971 at Glenelg.  

W Heading April 2020

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