Roy Townley started his League career in 1919 after returning from war service and was first coached by William Hutton, and then the legendary Tom Leahy.
Impressive from the start, he won the club's Most Consistent award in his first year. A very good mark and an excellent kick, he played in a variety of positions for Norwood, including centre in the club's 1921 Grand Final loss to Port Adelaide. He also was a member of the team that then beat VFL runners-up Carlton on the Norwood Oval.
1922 was a successful one for Norwood, and he was amongst the team's best in the Grand Final win against West Adelaide, playing as a back pocket/half back flanker. Late in the minor round of that year, Townley was involved in a bizarre incident in a game against Port Adelaide on the Alberton Oval. At the end of the game, a crucial encounter Norwood had won by two points, Port supporters set upon the field umpire and, despite being escorted off the ground by police, the umpire still sustained a nasty leg injury after being kicked by an angry Port Adelaide supporter. Another group of Port supporters also surrounded the Norwood players as they came off the ground and Townley was stabbed in the arm by a woman wielding a hat-pin.
Earlier in the same year, Townley had played for Norwood in the game against East Perth on the Adelaide Oval when he was named in a back pocket changing on the ball.
A broken foot in the second half of the 1923 season saw him miss the last nine matches and a chance to play in back-to-back premierships.
Back to full fitness, he was named the "Best All-Round Player" for 1924.
After marrying, he took up residence within the North Adelaide zone and eventually asked for a clearance to North in 1925. Serving that club with distinction, he played 65 games between 1925 and 1928, captained the side, and also represented the state during his period with North.
R Cialini Dec 2013