James Gallagher played his junior football with Sacred Heart College before joining Norwood and playing in the 1997 under 19 premiership. In 1998 he was a member of the Reserves premiership team and was also selected in the State under 18 team.
James made his league debut in 1999 against Port Adelaide in round two and in 2001 was rookie listed for the Adelaide Crows. He was quickly elevated to the senior list, making his AFL debut against Essendon at Telstra Stadium and went on to play nine games for Adelaide in his first season. He played 38 games for the Crows from 2001 to 2004.
Highly skilled, with a penetrating kick and good defensive skills, he was at his best as a wingman and sometime on-baller.
After a career that spanned ten years and 218 games James decided to retire at the end of 2011, sadly, it seemed without a premiership to add to his list of achievements. He had been an outstanding leader of the club through the lean years when the team struggled with a high turnover of players and coaches.
Retirement did not last long however and he returned midway through 2012 to become an integral part of the side’s march towards the premiership. James‘ left foot snap for goal late in the final quarter was a fitting end to a long and illustrious career at Norwood.
James' grandfather, Kevin (Sam) and uncles, Philip, Martin and John also played league football for Norwood.
In 2022 James Gallagher became Norwood's 67th Hall of Fame inductee