Wartime competition 1942-1944
Norwood-North games: 1
Norwood-North goals: 0
Gordon Whittaker was recruited from the Payneham Football Club. He had won acclaim as an outstanding centreman in the Amateur League, having played for SA Amateurs at the 1938 Carnival and again against Victoria Amateurs in 1939.
In his first season at Norwood in 1940, he took a while to break into the seniors. With the Redlegs battling injuries, Gordon was tried at centre half forward and centre before settling on a wing. It was in this position he played the majority of his 25 league games.
He played in two final series. The first, in 1940, ended in a 31 point semi-final loss to South Adelaide. In 1941 came compensation when as a wingman he was a member of Norwood’s 1941 premiership team. In the Advertiser Grand Final review (6/10/1941) it stated, “Norwood held control across Centre where Wingmen Bice and Whittaker were superior.”
With World War II in progress, a new contracted war-time competition began in 1942. Gordon made himself available for the Norwood-North team until, in early 1943, he enlisted in the Australian Infantry, rising to the rank of Sergeant.
After being discharged from the army in January 1946, he returned to Norwood. His last league game was a 78 point thrashing of Glenelg. He had been named 19th Man and came on at three-quarter time to replace the injured Sam Gallagher. Gordon completed the season in the Reserves and his undoubted skill was recognised when he was awarded the 1946 Reserves Magarey Medal.
B Ridge Jan 2016