Fred Searcy quite likely played for Norwood in the inconsistent season of 1896 and was gone before his father, George, took over as the club’s fifth secretary two years later.
Fred was the eldest of three sons of George Searcy and his wife Eleanor, née Fox, and was born at Richmond, Victoria, on 20 September 1878. His brothers Herbert and Arthur were born at Norwood.
Missing proven players who had gone in search of gold in Western Australia, Norwood tried a number of juniors in 1896 and, with 10 wins, six losses and two draws, finished second to the undefeated South Adelaide. Norwood put up some sterling performances against the premier team but the annual report expressed bitter disappointment at the failure of players to train, and, as in several previous seasons, there were occasions when the training track was deserted.
Fred would have been almost 18 if he was the F. Searcy named as a player that year. His second cousin Felix , born on 4 December 1875, is another possibility, though he did not come from a sporting family like Fred. Felix’s father, Arthur Searcy, was an eminent public servant whereas Fred’s father and Arthur’s first cousin, George Searcy, was a footballer, cricketer and Test umpire of some repute.
Fred married Ethel Daisy Moore, daughter of John Moore of Rosslyn Park, and late of Broken Hill, at St. Matthew’s Church of England, Marryatville, on 11 July 1906. Their three children, Lilian, Eleanor and Frederick George, were born at Broken Hill.
Fred became a grazier in Queensland. He was widowed in 1945 and was 15 days short of 70 when he died on 5 September 1948 at Cambrai, Kinkabella, near Meandarra in the Darling Downs. He left £3,289 personally to his second wife, Marjorie. Fred is buried at Tara, Queensland. His grazier son Frederick survived him by just a year.
P. Robins, D Cox November 2019