Hubert "Tom" Warhurst
Born in South Australia, Hubert (Tom) Warhurst took great pride as a seven year-old in carrying the legendary Alec Lill's football bag into Norwood Oval on match days. At the time Lill was a teller in the Norwood branch of the bank managed by Tom's father.
The Warhurst family moved to Melbourne in 1924, and Tom attended Xavier College for the last six years of his schooling. While at the school he excelled at athletics (running, hurdling and high jumping) cricket, football and tennis.
In 1935 Warhurst played three games in the Norwood Reserves, kicking 27 goals. After missing a few weeks due to a chest injury, Warhurst was promoted to the League team in round 6, 1935. Named at full-forward, he kicked four goals in Norwood's victory against Sturt : 12.10 to 8.13. He went on to make 12 appearances for the year and was named the team's best junior.
He was named best position player in 1936 after making 16 appearances for the year. His football career was interrupted in 1937, when he decided to concentrate on winter tennis.
Warhurst resumed playing football in 1938 and added another 13 matches to his career total; he also represented the State against Western Australia when SA won the game by 21 points, with Warhurst playing at half-forward. He missed the interstate matches in Perth later in the year after breaking his wrist against North Adelaide on the Saturday before the touring party was set to leave.
Warhurst was outstanding in 1939. Not only did he win the best and fairest award, having taken over the captaincy late in the season, but he also finished just one vote behind Ray McArthur (West Adelaide) and Jeff Pash (North Adelaide) in the Magarey Medal count. He represented South Australia against Victoria in games played in Adelaide and Melbourne.
Continuing with his fine form, Warhurst played 15 games in 1940 and was named best utility. During the season he shared the captaincy with Kevin Hardiman and Bruce Schultz. He also received the Five Years Service Award.
Warhurst's career at Norwood was broken again at the end of the 1940 season when he enlisted in the 2/7th Field Artillery Regiment, 7th Division AIF, with whom he served until his discharge in December, 1945.
He resumed in 1946 and, as vice-captain, played a big role in Norwood winning that year's premiership. Named at full back, he was high in Norwood's best players as the Redlegs defeated Port Adelaide, 13.14 to 9.10 in the Grand Final. He was named the club's most consistent player for the year.
Warhurst retired as a player and vice-captain mid-way through 1947. A strong marking and reliable key forward/defender, he had given the club wonderful service.
In 1950 Warhurst was appointed coach of Norwood's Senior Colts and he was re-appointed in 1951.
Tom Warhurst was well known in South Australian sporting circles. A natural athlete, Warhurst could have been anything in the sports world, had it not been for the war. He toured South Africa with the Australian tennis team in 1949, and won the South African doubles title. He captained the South Australian tennis team after the war up to his retirement in 1952. He reached the Australian Men's Singles Quarter Finals in 1949. In 1946, 1948, 1949 and in 1952, he reached the Australian Men's Doubles Quarter Finals.
An accomplished basketballer, he was considered for selection in the 1948 State men's basketball team.
By 1952 he was working as a radio football commentator on 5KA. The popular Warhurst was later seen regularly on Channel 7 television as a sports commentator.
Sons John (12 NFC games), and Tom ( 246 NFC games) also played League football for the Norwood Football Club.
Best & Fairest: 1939
Further honours: SA Games 3, Norwood Life Member
R Cialini July 2017