Almanac Life – Gordon Schwartz: Proud of his Barossa and Light Football heritage


By Peter Argent


In the study of current patriarch of the Schwartz clan, Gordon’s home, a photograph of Freeling’s 1924 premiership side is hanging proudly.


While the SANFL Hall of Fame journalist was just two-years-old at the time, this is a special part of his family heritage.


Gordon’s father, Edwin Arthur or E.A. to his mates, was captain-coach of that premiership team.
“I am proud of our connection with Freeling,” the now a 92-year-old Schwartz told the Barracker recently. “I was born in Freeling and did my first six years of school in Tanunda.”


“My wife Jane and I would often return to the Barossa and visit. We were up for Freeling’s last grand final win at Kapunda Oval – I can’t believe that is now over 20 years ago. While I was too young to remember much of the football, I have a vivid recollection of the pasties and pies I digested, which were sold from a wicker basket at Angaston Oval.”


After being captain of the 1919 flag with Freeling and the victory in ’24, the family moved to Tanunda, when ‘EA’ was the manager of the Standard Implement Company.


He was captain-coach of the Magpies for three years between 1926 and 1928, before retiring at the age of 38.


Above: The Redlegs 1924 Barossa and Light premiership team, with ‘EA’ holding the ball.



An engraved plate from a case presented to Schwartz after Freeling won the 1919 grand final against Angaston.


Gordon still has an engraved plate from a case presented to his father after the 1919 victory where Freeling, despite being highly inaccurate and kicking 8-21 (69), defeated Angaston 10-6 (66) by three points.


The 1924 Barossa and Light premiership was won by Freeling 8-8 (56) to Eudunda 5-15 (45) at Tanunda Oval.


After serving in the RAAF during World War II, Gordon played a couple years of league football (16 games) with Norwood and West Torrens, along with representing his state in four tennis tournaments against the Victorians in 1946 and ‘47. A long and successful career at The Advertiser, as a sports journalist, started in 1954, which included assignments like the British Open tennis and golf in England. He also worked on television for 17 years on World of Sports with Channel 7, and 15 years broadcasting football on radio with 5AD. After 33 years at the ‘Tizer, Schwartz retired in 1987 but, after a chat with Michael Nunan, started freelancing with the South Australian Institute of Sport (SASI) for a further 18 years.


“I had a lucky life,” Schwartz smiled. “The support of my wife Jane was invaluable over the 60 years we were together.”


Above: Now working in Tanunda, EA Schwartz was the captain-coach of the Magpies, before hanging up his boots. This is the 1928 Tanunda side, he again has the football in his hands.



Gordon Schwartz – circa 2015, now living in retirement on Hackney Road.


He is the patriarch to four generations of Schwartz’ after becoming a great grand-father last year.


The Tigers (Covid) Almanac 2020 will be published in the coming weeks. It will have all the usual features – a game by game account of the Tigers season – and will also include some of the best Almanac writing from the Covid winter.  Pre-order right now HERE



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  1. Peter Crossing says

    A few years ago I had a great chat with Gordon about Cec Pepper, Stan Sismey, Reg Ellis and the WWII Services XI cricket team. What an absoulue gentleman.

  2. Lovely memoir of a fine journalist. Growing up in the 60’s Gordon was a more constant life presence than anyone except Mum & Dad. Compering Ch7’s World of Sport his kindly uncle presence gave the show a more gentle air compared to the more laddish Ch9 Footy Show. Panellists on the SA World of Sport included record goal kicker Ken Farmer; retired umpire Lawrie Sweeney; Pat Hall; journalist Merv Agars. Everyone wore a white shirt, suit and tie!

  3. Mark ‘Swish’ Schwerdt says

    Gordon Schwartz was the very best of a very good collection of roster of SA sporting writers. His calm and proper demeanour and his versatility across print and TV stood out for me.

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