THE Norwood Football Club last night announced the induction of four new inductees into its prestigious Hall of Fame.
Thomas Woodroofe, Mervyn Roberts, Neil Craig and James Gallagher were all inducted overnight underpinning their commitment and service to the Norwood Football Club.
Guernsey Number: 22, 2, 1
Career: 1930 to 1939
NFC Games: 141
NFC Goals: 45
Debut: v Port Adelaide (Adelaide) 13th September 1930
Finale: v West Torrens (Norwood) 12th August 1939
Norwood Captain: 1936 to 1939
Norwood Coach: 1935
NFC Life Member
Best & Fairest: 1935
South Australian Games: 8
Tom Woodroofe was born on 26 May 1911 and had Irish blood in his veins. He also had his roots firmly in Norwood as the grandson of William Woodroofe who came to Australia from Wexford, Ireland, and established the Woodroofe “cordial manufactory” in 1878.
Tom made his debut in League football in the first semi-final against Port Adelaide in 1930. In a distinguished career, he won Norwood’s Best & Fairest in 1935 and captained the side from 1936 to 1939, playing as a utility player and at full-back, and represented the State on 8 occasions. And he could kick, winning the dropkick section of a kicking competition held at half time of a match in Port Pirie with 69 yards 8 inches.
He retired after injury in 1939 after playing 141 matches and kicking 44 goals for Norwood.
Guernsey Number: 10
Career: 1946 to 1956
NFC Games: 162
NFC Goals: 6
Debut: v Port Adelaide (Alberton) 11th May 1946
Finale: v North Adelaide (Adelaide) 8th September 1956
Premierships: 1946, 1948, 1950
NFC Life Member
Advertiser Team of the Year: 1954
South Australian Games: 5
Merv Roberts was one of the most respected backmen of his era as selection in five State teams testifies. He gained a great reputation for the surety of his ball handling, causing one reporter in June 1950 to refer to him as, “sticky fingers.”
Roberts played in the successful, “Jack Oatey Era” and was a member of three Premiership sides: 1946, 1948 and 1950.
He was a highly regarded clubman being presented with Excellent Service Awards in 1950 and 1953. In 1954 he was the Player Representative on the Management Committee.
There was a vigorous aspect to his play as demonstrated in a game against Glenelg. A teammate had taken a mark and was being harassed by a Glenelg opponent. According to the umpire, Merv ran some 15 yards straight at the Glenelg player, contacting him in the chest and sending him flying. His teammate was defended but unfortunately it did cost Roberts a one match suspension.
Guernsey Number: 7
Career: 1973 to 1979
NFC Games: 124
NFC Goals: 109
Debut: v North Adelaide (Norwood) 14th April 1973
Finale: v W-WT Eagles (Adelaide) 7th September 1979
Norwood Coach: 1991 to 1995
Premierships: 1975, 1978
NFC Life Member
SANFL Hall of Fame
Best & Fairest: 1977
Advertiser Team of the Year: 1977
South Australian Games: 11
State Captain: 1984
McCallum Medal: 1971
Tomkins Medal: 1972
Ardath Cup: 1977
Neil Craig was an outstanding junior footballer with the Norwood Football Club. Recruited at 13 years of age from Sandilands, near Maitland on Yorke Peninsula, he boarded at Norwood’s player residence, Carmel Court in Kensington. As a 15-year-old, whilst doing his Intermediate year at Norwood High School, he won the 1971 McCallum Medal for the fairest and most brilliant player in the SANFL Colts (Under 17’s) competition. Playing as a centreman, he was believed to be the youngest winner of the medal at that time.
The following season he was awarded the Tomkins Medal, for the best player in the SANFL Under 19’s competition.
Craig made his League debut early in 1973 and played seven senior games for the year. Showing great enthusiasm and professionalism beyond his years, he further developed his skills and fitness and played 20 games in 1974, winning Norwood’s most improved player award.
In 1975 he made another 21 League appearances and was an important contributor to the side that broke the 25-year premiership drought, defeating Glenelg in the Grand Final.
Neil holds a sports science degree and has worked with the Australian Cycling Team at the Olympic Games and with the South Australian Sports Institute as a sports scientist.
Craig was appointed the position of fitness advisor of the Adelaide Football Club in 1997 and devised a plan to help lead them to back-to-back Premiership in 1997-98.
Craig then went onto perform various roles at the Melbourne, Carlton and Essendon Football Club, as well as working as a consultant for the England Rugby Union Team.
In December 2019, Craig joined the Gold Coast Suns in a part-time consultancy role for the coaching group.
Guernsey Number: 38, 4, 5
Career: 1999 to 2012
NFC Games: 228
NFC Goals: 124
Debut: v Port Adelaide (Adelaide) 2nd April 1999
Finale: v West Adelaide (Football Park) 7th October 2012
Norwood Captain: 2007 to 2011
NFC Life Member
Best & Fairest: 2007, 2008
Advertiser Team of the Year: 2000, 2005, 2007, 2008
South Australian Games: 1
VFL/AFL Clubs: Adelaide Crows
James Gallagher played his junior football with Sacred Heart College before joining Norwood and playing in the 1997 under 19 premiership. In 1998 he was a member of the Reserves premiership team and was also selected in the State under 18 team.
James made his league debut in 1999 against Port Adelaide in round two and in 2001 was rookie listed for the Adelaide Crows. He was quickly elevated to the senior list, making his AFL debut against Essendon at Telstra Stadium and went on to play nine games for Adelaide in his first season. He played 38 games for the Crows from 2001 to 2004.
Highly skilled, with a penetrating kick and good defensive skills, he was at his best as a wingman and sometime on-baller.
In 2018, Gallagher was appointed as Head of List Management at the St Kilda Football Club and still currently remains in that role.