First of the first
Joseph Osborn was one of the founders of the SA Football Association in 1877, which later became the SANFL. In the following year Joe played a leading role in the foundation of the Norwood Football Club. That same year he was Norwood’s first captain and its first premiership captain. At centre and in defence he was among the club’s best first era players and in 1880 created an unbeatable record as Norwood’s inaugural triple premiership captain.
An accountant, Joe went on to chair the club for three years and looked after the books for eleven.
He also had a well-developed entrepreneurial streak and in 1888 helped secure the interstate Champions of Australia series. Norwood won that championship over South Melbourne and secured its place in the Australian football world.
Joe was an influential personality; a teetotaler, wine merchant, lay preacher, dedicated local community representative, mining speculator and racing identity. Even to this day, club humorists say that because Joe was all of those things, he was the prototype for every Norwood player that came after him.
That’s debatable, but what is beyond dispute is that Joe Osborn, Norwood’s co-founder, first captain and clubman, is one of the main reasons we’re all a part of the Norwood Football Club.
Premierships and premiership captain: 1878-1880.