Mark Skinner was a ruckman with a spectacular high mark and a good kick who was dangerous around goals. He came to Norwood eight years after his ruckman brother Bob. Both were educated at Prince Alfred College and both were champion high jumpers.
As a junior, Mark won a trophy in the Senior Colts in 1961 for the Best Ruckman. That season he also played against the VFL Thirds at Adelaide Oval in June, alongside John Hillman, Don Woodcock and Brian Norsworthy. A trophy was donated to Mark Skinner, who reportedly “rucked tirelessly and thrilled the large crowd with his tremendous leaping”
A state junior high jump record-holder, Mark balanced football with athletics. In 1962, when he joined his hero John Lill in the Norwood league team, he kicked 10 goals in 11 games. In 1963 he was Norwood’s leading scorer with 37 goals in 18 games, including a bag of five against North Adelaide at Norwood Oval on 18 May. He missed the first six games in 1964, kicked six goals on his return against West Adelaide at Richmond Oval on 23 May, then missed eight matches before kicking three goals against South Adelaide at Adelaide Oval in the last minor round game. In his league career he kicked 63 goals and polled five Magarey Medal votes. He also kicked five goals in five reserves games in 1964.
He was vice-captain of the PAOC team which won the A2 amateur league grand final in 1966.
Mark was born in Adelaide on 29 August 1943 to Joshua (Jock) Skinner and Joyce Prince. They had four sons, Brian, Robert, Sandford (Sandy) and, 10 years later, Mark. He was only five when he followed in the footsteps of his brothers as a PAC boarder. Earlier they had resided in Montrose House, now the junior boarding house at Scotch College, the home of their great-grandfather Prince after he migrated from London in 1838.
Brian graduated from Adelaide and Harvard universities and was a professor of geology and geophysics in the US. An expert in crystallography in metallic ores, he analysed lunar rocks from the Apollo moon expedition. Sandy became Reader in Physiology at the University of Melbourne. Bob was an executive of SA Coles and Beilby’s supermarkets in Adelaide. He helped to establish the NFC boarding house Carmel Court, where his father Jock, a retired bank manager, looked after the finances.
Mark’s first job was as a copy boy at The Advertiser. He then worked for Chrysler in Adelaide and Detroit. A member of the Australian advertising industry for more than 35 years . In 2023 he was living in the historic town of Berry on the NSW South Coast with his wife Beverley. They had two sons and three daughters.
P. Robins, D. Cox, B. Adams Sept 2023