58. Rex Garwood

LEGEND – Player Inductee

New Town/New Norfolk, Forward/Ruck Rover, 1950-60

William Leitch Medal, 1951, 1955 and 1958
Awarded best player in intrastate games for kicking ten goals against the NWFU
Represented Tasmania 19 times between 1951 and 1959
Played in the Australian Carnivals of 1953, 1956 and 1958
Captained Tasmania, 1956
Coached New Norfolk, 1954-57
Named as ruck-rover in Glenorchy’s ‘Team of the Century’
Named as half-forward in New Norfolk’s ‘Team of 1947-2001’
New Town premierships, 1951 and 1953

Born 15 May 1930, Rex Garwood was a champion Australian Rules footballer who debuted with New Town in 1950 playing under the legendary Roy Cazaly. During 1951, his first season in the seniors, he won his first TFL best and fairest award, a truly remarkable performance considering he had only graduated from the underage ranks a year earlier.

That same year Garwood was selected to represent Tasmania for the first time against the VFA, and two years later in 1953 he represented the state at his first national carnival in Adelaide.

The 1953 season saw Garwood appointed vice captain of New Town. When coach Jack Rough and captain Doug Scott were injured the players rallied around their deputy skipper to take out the TFL flag and the state premiership. It was a tremendous achievement considering the average age of the team was only 21 years.

In 1955 Garwood captained Tasmania to wins against New South Wales and Canberra and was again a dominating player at the 1956 National Carnival in Perth. As Tasmanian captain-coach Rex Garwood collected three votes in the Tassie medal for best on ground after dominating completely with 30 kicks, 13 marks, seven goals and three behinds. The state finished third out of five competing states. Garwood’s seven goals against the VFA at Perth was the highest individual tally of the 1956 carnival.

Ultimately, Garwood would play for Tasmania from 1951 to 1959, captain-coaching in 1955, 1956 and 1957.

After taking up the coaching reins at New Norfolk for the 1954 season, Garwood won his second William Leitch Medal in 1955 and followed up with another in 1958. The Eagles, under his onfield guidance, enjoyed their best year ever, finishing the roster series on top of the ladder although losing both finals matches.

After an illustrious football career, Garwood retired at the end of the 1960 season. As a champion Australian Rules footballer, cricketer and lawn bowler he was undoubtedly one of the great allround sportsmen of Tasmania. He was duly recognised as the first inductee in the Tasmanian Sporting Hall of Fame in 1987.