Joe Tripodi OAM
For over half a century, Joe Tripodi has been involved with the Norwood Football Club first as a player then a committee member, board member, sponsor, president & chairman and patron. His unwavering commitment and passion for the club since his playing days in the late 1950’s, is extraordinary.
Joe first kicked a football as a four year old in Boulder, Kalgoorlie, Western Australia where he was born on 19 December 1940. A family move to Adelaide in 1946 led Joe to kicking the football again at Campbelltown Primary School not far from the family home on 5 acres of rich market garden land. As a teenager, Joe was encouraged to play rugby by a teacher at Norwood Technical High School, however, this was short lived as he left school at age 14 to work alongside his father in their market garden.
A love of the game led him to join the Glenroy Football Club in the mid 1950’s playing and training on the Campbelltown Memorial Oval, and in one game on the Burnside Oval in 1956, Joe can recall kicking 9 goals before half time only to be moved by the coach into defence for the second half of the game and not adding to his tally! At the game a very astute Norwood talent scout was so impressed with his play that he invited him to pre-season training at The Parade the following year.
Joe was a regular member of Norwood’s Senior Colts and Reserves squads in 1957 and 1958, when 20 year old Hadyn Bunton was senior coach, playing roles as a rover, centreman and wingman. At pre-season training in 1959, after a verbal confrontation with new club coach Alan Killigrew, Joe returned to play with Glenroy in the East Torrens Football Association.
His first official volunteer role at the club began in 1987 when he joined the Norwood Oval Management Committee. Joe’s expertise in civil engineering immediately proved invaluable as the oval precinct required significant upgrading. During his tenure Norwood Oval was the first suburban oval to install a designated alcohol free ‘dry area’ of bench seating to accommodate 400 patrons and the first to consider the needs of spectators with a disability. In 1988 a new bore was sunk in the northwest corner of the oval to provide a reliable water source, together with new irrigation and a storage tank facility the following year. The upgrade of oval lighting in 1997 saw the introduction of SANFL night games in the home and away seasons and Norwood Oval then hosted a national soccer league match between Adelaide City and Sydney Marconi in front of 15,000 spectators, providing an additional source of income to the club.
Joe was appointed a board member in 2004 at a difficult time in Norwood’s history. Again he demonstrated his commitment and considerable skills in assisting to address issues such as the sale and demolition of the Redlegs Club, a new management regime voted in by the membership, the lack of on-field success, the inability to find and establish a gaming and social club venue, the relocation of staff to an office on Beulah Road, and the club’s perilous financial position.
In 2006, Joe Tripodi was elected President & Chairman of the Norwood Football Club, a position he would cherish and during his time in the role the club emerge as a force in the SANFL with a grand final appearance in 2010, preliminary finalist in 2011, premierships in 2012 and 2013.
Season 2013 proved to be a difficult and challenging time for Joe as President and SANFL Director representing the Norwood Football Club when there was much heated debate about the anticipated entry of Adelaide’s two AFL clubs into the SANFL competition from season 2014. The stirring grand final victory against Port Adelaide on the Adelaide Oval in front of over 38,000 spectators in 2014 to complete a premiership treble, would have given him get satisfaction and pride in the club he has so passionately supported for many decades.
In every respect Joe has been a wonderful contributor to the success of the club and we proudly welcome him as Norwood’s 61st Hall of Fame inductee.
In the 2017 Queen's Birthday Honours, Joe Tripodi was awarded a Medal of Honour of Australia (OAM) for services to football and the multicultural community.
Career: 1957-1958 (Senior Colts and Reserves)
Guernsey number: 3
Club Sponsor (1979 - current)
Senior Vice-President (1981-2003)
Norwood Oval Management Committee (1987-2003)
Board member (2004-2014) & SANFL Director representing the club (2009-2014)
Club Patron (2015 - 2021)
Life Member (2007)