Harley Ronald SWANBURY


Guernsey Number: 31, 11
Career: 1958 to 1960
NFC Games: 31
NFC Goals: 5
Debut: v West Adelaide (Adelaide) 10th May 1958
Finale: v North Adelaide (Adelaide) 1st October 1960


Harley Ronald Swanbury was born at Waikerie on November 14, 1932. He lived at Moorook in the Riverland and became a local sporting legend winning his first senior football premiership as a 15 year old in 1947.

After playing for Moorook and Loxton Swanbury joined the Norwood Football Club and impressed in the 1958 pre-season trials. He made his senior debut in round three and, after playing 12 games in his first season, was named best first year player. He also played in Norwood's Advertiser Cup Night Grand Final victory against South Adelaide.

In 1959 he played another 13 senior games and received a services rendered award.

He played six league games in 1960 and was a member of the reserves team that defeated Port Adelaide in the Grand Final by eight points, Norwood's first reserves premiership in 21 years.

In 1961 he was in the team that defeated West Torrens in the reserves Grand Final by 37 points. He played on the ball in both finals.

An excellent team man, he had good hands and a sound kick. Best suited to a ruck-rover role, he could also play in defence.

He represented South Australia at reserves level.

Swanbury returned home after 1961 to assist his family on the fruit block which he ultimately ran until his passing in 1999, at age 67.

He also coached several teams in the Riverland including coaching and playing for Waikerie for two seasons, before returning to Moorook and winning the best and fairest four times and being runner-up on several other occasions.

He was regarded locally as "Mr. Football" and was also a proficient tennis and bowls player over many years.

His nephew Paul Swanbury also played league football for Norwood (10 NFC games, 1987)

R Cialini June 2021

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