Fred Stewart began playing with Norwood under-age sides in 1950. Playing mainly on the wing or centre, in 1952 he won the most effective player award, for the senior colts.
He played in the senior trials at the beginning of the 1953 season and was named in the Association (Seconds) training squad.
Playing in a struggling seconds side that only won two of their first nine games, Stewart was consistently in the best players and was rewarded with selection as a reserve in the league side against North Adelaide in late June 1953. Sitting on the bench for his first two games he saw little action. He did however come on late in the game against Port Adelaide when Doug Olds was injured. In his fourth and final league game against Glenelg he was forced off at three quarter time due to a leg injury.
Stewart did play in two other games at the conclusion of the 1953 league season. He travelled with the side to Jamestown in early October to play against a combined side representing the Broughton, Flinders and Peterborough leagues. Later that month he was a reserve in a match played under lights at Norwood against Port Adelaide to raise funds for the RSL.
Though his league career was brief, he continued to play with the seconds until 1957 with some distinction. In 1953 he tied for the reserves best and fairest award. He was vice captain in 1955/56 and in 1955 won the Reserves Magarey Medal.
In 1952, playing for the senior colts, he received an award, the like of which I’m sure we will never see again. Fred Stewart was awarded the, “Best Kept Boots Award.”
B Ridge August 2021