Club News

NFC Hall of Fame Inductee – Tom Warhurst

Tom Warhurst is the 69th Inductee to the Norwood Football Club Hall of Fame.

Warhurst was inducted at the Club’s Hall of Fame Event on Thursday, May 9 2024, held in the Norwood Function Room at the Club’s Wolf Blass Community Centre.

“It’s an honour, Norwood has been a great part of my life and I am a very proud member of the Norwood Football Club, I have met some great people,” he said.

“I can remember getting a letter to train at Norwood in the U17s, and being a bit intimidated and not wanting to go the first night of U17s training. But I was dropped off by my father and that started the journey.”

Warhurst joined Norwood’s U17s in 1979 after playing junior football at St Ignatius College. The following season he was appointed vice-captain of the U19s and played in his first Redlegs Premiership at U19 level.

Warhurst made his League debut in Round 2, 1981. Despite being his only senior appearance for the year, he was drafted by North Melbourne at the end of the season but decided to stay at The Parade.

In 1982 he slotted into the centre half forward position for the first half of the season, but moved to full back when Neil Button returned from long term injury.

He was at full back in Norwood’s 1982 Grand Final win against Glenelg and was part of a rock-solid defence that included Danny Jenkins, Wayne Schmaal, Frank Stemper, Jim Thiel and Bruce Winter.

“I had Neil Balme for 10 years as coach, and I also played alongside McIntosh, Button, the Balmes, Rodney Maynard, Michael Aish, Keith Thomas, Neville Roberts, Bruce Winter… I was very fortunate that I had the chance to play with some of my boyhood heroes, being a Norwood supporter growing up,” he said.

“I wanted to be Johnny Wynne as a kid, and I didn’t quite live up to that. But, to play for Norwood it was just a dream come true, it’s a cliché, but, you don’t get any better than that.”

Remembered as one of the club’s best ever full backs, Tom proved to be just as serviceable in other key positions. In 1984, playing at centre half back, he was an important member of the “History Makers” side which saw the Redlegs win the premiership from fifth place. During the year he also played for South Australia against Western Australia.

“I mean, early in that year it didn’t look like we were going to make it,” Warhurst said.

“I think we were 1-6 or something like that. And then we had a crucial game, under lights at Footy Park where we came up against Port who were top and we beat them that night in a fairly spiteful, spiteful match.

“That got us on a roll. We played Port two or three times that year as we always did in the minor round games, and we either won two or three of those games, so we knew if we could make the five, we could make a Grand Final and have a crack at Port. We definitely thought we could win and I think they knew we thought we could win. The Finals series was very tough.

“The result of the Grand Final was in the balance, but fortunately we got up, and one of my great memories is going back to Norwood Oval, it was just heaving that night. It was like The Beatles had arrived trying to get from the Grandstand over to the Old Woods Street.”

Warhurst reached his 200-game milestone in round 18, 1989 against South Adelaide at Football Park and was runner-up to Rodney Maynard in the club’s 1989 Club Champion award. Capping off a remarkable season, he also won the Woods Medal, the E.A. Johnson Award, and was named in The Advertiser Team of the Year.

Appointed vice-captain in 1990, Warhurst was also awarded player life-membership for his ten years service to the Norwood Football Club.

In 1991 he joined the Adelaide Crows in its debut season and had the honour of playing in their first game for premiership points – the Crows having a comfortable win against Hawthorn at Football Park. A serious knee injury which required a reconstruction at the end of the season eventually ended his AFL and SANFL careers.

Between 1994 and 1996, he played for St. Ignatius Old Scholars in the South Australian Amateur Football League, and was appointed coach in 2000.

A proud club man, Warhurst returned to The Parade in 2002 as under 19s coach, and reserves coach in 2004.

His father, Hubert, better known as “Tom”, played between 1935 and 1947 and is a Norwood Hall of Famer. Older brother John also played league football for the Redlegs from 1968 to 1969.

The Club proudly welcomes Tom Warhurst as Norwood’s 69th Hall of Fame inductee.

Tom Warhurst - HOF Inductee 69

Guernsey Number: 44
Career: 1981 to 1991
NFC Games: 246
NFC Goals: 45
Debut: v Glenelg (Glenelg) 11th April 1981
Finale: v West Adelaide (Football Park) 20th July 1991

Premierships: 1982, 1984
NFC Life Member
NFC Hall of Fame – 2024
Advertiser Team of the Year: 1989
South Australian Games: 3
VFL/AFL Clubs: Adelaide Crows