Club News

NFC Hall of Fame LEGEND – Topsy Waldron

Alfred “Topsy” Waldron has been elevated to the sixth Legend of the Norwood Football Club Hall of Fame.

Waldron was elevated to Legend status 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.

In the late 1800s and early 1900s, there was no bigger name in South Australian football than Alfred “Topsy” Waldron. A man of such repute, he was known as simply “Topsy”.

Topsy’s playing career achievements are extraordinary – a Premiership with Carlton in 1877 in what was the first season of the Victorian Football Association, nine premierships with Norwood (including six as Captain), and then Captain of Norwood’s Champions of Australia team that defeated South Melbourne in three games at Kensington Oval in 1888.

In 1880 Topsy Captained the first South Australian club team to beat a Victorian team when Norwood defeated Melbourne at the MCG.

Three years later, he captained Norwood when it was the first South Australian club team to defeat a touring Victorian club (Essendon).

Topsy was also Captain of the South Australian team from 1880-1890, leading the first South Australian team to defeat Victoria in 1890. In the thirteen career games he played at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, Topsy was named in the best players on every single occasion.

Topsy was an instrumental figure in the birth of the rivalry between Norwood and Port Adelaide which is now recognised by the Gallagher-Williams Cup.

Known as “The Prince of Dodgers”, Waldon also served the game of Australian Rules Football in many other roles. He umpired 16 games of League football from 1882-1891.

Topsy was also a media commentator, a caretaker of Norwood’s first home ground in the East Parklands and as “superintendent of training operations” took on a coaching role in the days before coaches were appointed.

He was a member of the Norwood Management Committee for eight years and he even supplied the goalposts for Norwood’s first game at Norwood Oval in 1901.

In 1928, Topsy blew out the candles on the 50th birthday cake for the Norwood Football Club.

The night before he died in 1929, he was in at the Club looking at old photos from his playing days. And following his death, the Club honoured his request to continue to take care of him by raising funds for a headstone to be placed on his grave at the Payneham Cemetery. To this day, the Norwood Football Club still oversees his grave.

Topsy lost his life after falling from a ladder, and newspapers across the land wrote glowing obituaries to the man who was described as “a giant of the game”.

Topsy Waldron was a forefather of the great Australian winter pastime. He was also a pioneer of the game at Norwood. In life, he was universally recognised as being the fabric of the Norwood Football Club for its first 50 years. A newspaper columnist known as ‘Goalpost’ once wrote that “if it had not been for Waldron the Norwoods would never have been where they are, or South Australian football what it is”.

Topsy Waldron was inducted into Norwood’s inaugural Hall of Fame in 2007, and in 2024 he was officially welcomed and inducted a Norwood Legend.

Topsy Waldron - 6th HOF Legend

Career: 1879 to 1892, 1896,1898
NFC Games: 197
NFC Goals: 45
Debut: v South Adelaide (East Parklands) 17th May 1879
Finale: v West Adelaide ( Jubilee Oval) 13th August 1898

Norwood Captain: 1881-85, 1887-90, 1892
Premierships: 1879, 1880, 1881,1882,1883, 1887,1888, 1889, 1891
NFC Life Member
NFC Hall of Fame – 2007
NFC Hall of Fame Legend – 2024
SANFL Hall of Fame
State Captain: 1880, 1881, 1890
VFL/AFL Clubs: Carlton