Tom Welsby was one of the longest kickers in the early days of football. In competitions he reputedly kicked the ball 94 yards from a place and 84 yards with a drop-kick.
When he died in 1930, The Advertiser remembered him as a player for "West Adelaide, West Torrens and Medindee (now North Adelaide) when Bob Absolom, Mick Coffee and the Mehrten boys were at the height of their fame". Not remembered was that Tom came from the South Adelaide seconds into the Norwood team which defeated Port Adelaide on 12 September 1885. Early in the match, according to The South Australian Advertiser, Bill Guster "gave Welsby an easy chance but he was content with a behind". Tom added another behind soon after but an inaccurate Norwood was untroubled to win, 4.14 to 2.8.
Tom found his radar with West Adelaide when it entered the competition in 1887, topping the club's scoring with six goals for the season.
A tug-of-war enthusiast, Tom was anchor man for the Young Australians in the international competition at the Exhibition Building in 1887. Future Norwood captain 'Nug" Plunkett and his brother Jack were members of the team.
Born at Bowden on 26 November 1865 to Joseph Welsby and his wife Ann (Low), Tom was running his own tannery at 25 and, with the outbreak of World War I, was a successful contractor for boots for the first expeditionary force in 1915.
Tom, 64, died at his Parkside residence on 26 April 1930. He was survived by his widow Margaret (Hobbs), formerly of Fullarton, and children Henry, Doris and Jack. Probate was granted at £1,049
P Robins Feb 2019