Walter Steele was a journeyman footballer and an outstanding one in two states. He served his apprenticeship with Norwood juniors and seconds before his selection in the league side against South Adelaide on July 23rd 1910.
He soon established himself as a highly skilled rover/forward. Reporters of the day emphasized his quick thinking and accurate goal kicking. This is an Advertiser report of a game against South Adelaide in August, 1911 :
“Townsend and Packham with long, well judged drop kicks would place the ball in the hands of Steele standing unguarded on the far side of the posts. In that way Steele raised both flags 3 times. South Adelaide doubtless now realize through not watching him closely during the second quarter they lost the match”
In 1914, after just 35 games for Norwood and two for South Australia, Steele moved to Western Australia to play for Subiaco where he became club captain
His already impressive resume was further enhanced as a member of the WA side that won the 1921 Australian Football Championships. In his side’s 10 point win over SA he and fellow rover Sheedy were reported as having, “roved like a pair of champions.”
In 1924 he transferred to the Perth Football Club and again was made club captain. Reports from that time tell how the club’s performances greatly improved mainly due to Steele’s inclusion.
In 1926 he returned to SA and was appointed playing coach of North Adelaide. After just three games he retired from playing but remained non-playing coach until the end of the 1928 season.
A journeyman footballer Walter Steele certainly was but a Norwood product nonetheless.
B Ridge April 2013