Norwood Football Club History Committee Annual Report 2021

22 March 2022
Despite the limitations imposed by the pandemic, the History Committee was able to meet at various times throughout the year in the Wolf Blass Community Centre.

The committee was formed in 2009 to preserve and manage the historical resources of the Norwood Football Club and material relating to the history of the Norwood Oval.

While the collection is secure in several U-Store-it units, individual items are not easily accessible and the committee is unable to work on maintaining the collection or undertaking research, using the club’s archives. The club holds arguably the most significant collection of memorabilia of any SANFL club yet these historic items remain out of sight to the membership and general public. The committee continues to lobby for dedicated storage and exhibition space at the Norwood Oval and a work area that allows access to the collection.


Several significant papers were written during the year and posted on the Redlegs Museum website. The papers can be downloaded or read on-line at the website.

The Carmel Court Story by Wally Miller, Glen Rosser and Allison Manefield.  In 1967 the NFC established the residential hostel for country and interstate recruits in an initiative that attracted many of the names who would carry the club to its on field successes in the 1970s and beyond. 

The Search for Topsy Waldron by Chris Brown who, after extensive research into the life and playing career of Topsy Waldron, poses the question - is Topsy Norwood’s GOAT (greatest of all time) ?

The Origins of the Norwood – Port Adelaide Rivalry, by Chris Brown, who reviews contemporary newspaper reports from 1882 to 1889 to trace the origins of the rivalry that has endured to the present day.

1941: A Red and Blue Year, by Reonaldo Cialini. It was 80 years ago that "red and blue" clubs in  all the major state leagues won their respective premierships.

Night Games at Norwood: the early days, by Reonaldo Cialini, who  looks back at the origins of night football at the Norwood Oval in the early 1950s.

Norwood’s Grand Final Record 1889 to 2018, by Graeme Adams, is a statistical review of the club’s grand final appearances since 1889.

The Collection

Thirteen donors presented the club with memorabilia items, notable amongst which was an Order of Australia (OAM) framed certificate presented to Ivan Holliday and a photograph of the 1946 Norwood premiership team. Ivan Holiday was an outstanding player from 1945 to 1948, including a best on ground performance in the 1946 Grand Final. A crippling knee injury forced his premature retirement at age 22. He was awarded an OAM in 2004 following a distinguished career in town planning and the authorship of several books on Australian native flora.

Other donations included a rare 1913 NFC glass tankard, Warren Packer’s 1974 Eric Johnson Trophy and club membership badges for 1922 and 1923.

105 items were catalogued and records added to the club’s archival database bringing the total number of item records to 3,686. The database also holds photographs of 2,021 memorabilia items in the collection.

Digitising the club’s collection of photographs continued and the number of player, official, team and action images is 11,970. All of the league and reserves team photos have been digitised, and a start has been made on scanning under age team photographs.

Redlegs Museum website

Biographical profiles for 123 past players were written and added to the website making a total of 1157 completed biographies out of a total of 1516 players who have represented the club at a senior level since 1878. Of the 320 players who represented the club prior to 1900, all but 70 biographies have been completed. 

Playing records and photographs of the 94 women who have represented the club since 2017 can be found on the website along with the team’s honour board and a summary of the inaugural SANFLW premiership. 

Tracking down photographs of players who do not appear in team photos is a laborious task and often the only image available is an old family or school photo. Nevertheless the website now holds images for all post-1900 players and all but 58 players from the 19th century.


Once again the committee is grateful for material donated by past players, members and supporters and this year 13 donors presented the club with items for the collection making a total of 230 people who have donated material since the History Committee was formed in 2009.

There are many people from within and outside the club who provide assistance and support for the work that the committee undertakes. Dawn and John Eastwood from U-Store-it continue to provide the club with storage units to house the collection and we are grateful for their continued generosity. Wally Miller is great supporter of the group and his knowledge of the club’s history, and his input, is always valued.

The club’s office and ground staff are always supportive and willing to provide assistance, and Anthony Harvey continues to oversee the Redlegs Museum website

Over the course of the year many people, including families and friends of past players,  local historians, archivists and librarians, have provided information and photographs and we acknowledge the following:

John Althorp, Wayne Bennett, Denis Brien, Peter Cochinos, Polly Dundon, Mark Giles, Trevor Gyss, Chris Halbert, Brad Hoye, Gary Lloyd, Andrea McKinnon-Matthews, Ian Simpson, David Schwartz, Greg Wardell-Johnson, Mick Weatherald, Gary Wood, Nick Woods.

History Committee members 
Graeme Adams
Reonaldo Cialini
Michael Coligan
Dee Cox
Lindsay Cox
Rob Crompton
Wynton Heading
Stephen Jones
Chris Lane
Trevor Mather
Phil Robins
Bryan Ridge
John Townsend
Marie Walsh
Robert Walsh
Roger Woodcock 

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