HALL OF FAME - Heidenreich, Theodor

Theodor Paul "Ted" Heidenreich

(1928 - 1962)

Franz Theodor Paul "Ted" Heidenreich was born on 1st March 1874 and  played country football for 15 years with clubs at Angaston, Tanunda, Gawler, and Salisbury where he became a life member. He first saw Norwood play in 1891 at Gawler. Despite Norwood losing the match against the Gawler Association by eight points, the 16 year-old became one of Norwood's most important supporters/administrators over the next 72 years of his life.
His passion for the club was evident very early when he would take bags of oranges by train and then horse tram, from Salisbury where he lived, to wherever his beloved Norwood were playing.
Heidenreich started his own business in 1917. He purchased the Auburn flour mill and had it removed to Salisbury. The well respected and shrewd businessman ensured it became a most successful venture. As a Methodist with strong principles, he felt it was his duty to also help others. 
He began as a Norwood committeeman in 1928. The following year he was Vice-President of the A grade, and President of the B team. Heidenreich was made a Norwood Life Member at the 1936 Annual General Meeting.
Heidenreich replaced the legendary James H. Gosse as President in 1940. Norwood's success in the next decade or so can be attributed mainly to his guidance and hard work.
In the Patriotic League (South Australian competition during World War II) he also filled the roles of President (1942) and Deputy Chairman (1943-1944) with the Norwood-North Adelaide combined team.
A Norwood man through and through, Heidenreich was the chief benefactor of the Norwood Football Club over many years. He was deeply involved with player welfare and supported the club financially on countless occasions. He would provide match incentives during the season, and help fund player bonuses at the end of the year. He would also help fund club trips, buy equipment, and provide interest-free loans to footballers.

During 1950, before a game against Sturt, he promised to pay the players 20 pounds ($40) if the side kicked 30 goals. When they failed to reach that target (kicking 23) he promised them the money if they "played well" against South Adelaide the following week. Norwood won the game comfortably, 25.17 to 10.7. In that year's Grand Final, Heidenreich donated 52 pounds to the Norwood Football Club.
In 1956 he accompanied league coach Jack Oatey to Gawler, hoping to entice Melville Wedding to play in Norwood's pre-season trials. Melville asked if his younger brother Bill could also try out; Bill had struggled to play regular A grade for Willaston. Melville decided not to pursue a career in league football, but Bill stayed on at the Parade and became a Norwood icon.
Heidenreich's  generosity was not restricted to Norwood however. He donated 10 pounds towards a fund designed to perpetuate the memory of the late Charles Hayter , a long-time Port Adelaide Secretary. In 1949, he presented former Norwood player Bob McLean with a cricket bat after the then Port Adelaide Secretary had scored a double century for South Australia against Queensland. Heidenreich also gave assistance to the Salisbury Methodist Church, the East Torrens District Cricket Club and a mission in Central Australia.
His time as Norwood President was not without controversy however. The Advertiser (20/11/1940) reported that Maurice Douglas Forrest, 22, a packerman, from Salisbury and a Norwood league player, had admitted to having attempted to extort money from his employer, a millowner from Salisbury. The charge against Forrest was that about November 11, 1940 Forrest had sent a letter to Heidenreich, "demanding 100 pounds with menaces and without reasonable cause." If the money was not paid, Heidenreich's flourmill would be destroyed. The mill was insured for 20,000 pounds at the time.
"Ted" Heidenreich died on the 6th December 1962, at Calvary Hospital North Adelaide. A wonderful servant of the club, Heidenreich had been President for a record 23 years (1940-1962), Chairman (1939-1962), and Club Delegate (1939-1962). The Heidenreich Committee Room was a fitting reminder of the Norwood Hall of Famer.
Grandsons Earle (25 NFC games, 1947-1951) and Glen (34 NFC games, 1949-1952), both played league football for Norwood.

Honours: Norwood Life Member, SANFL Life Member

R Cialini Nov 2018

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