'One of the best-ever sportsmen in Port Pirie'

TROPHY: Jamison Murphy was a joint winner of the Mark Schwartz Memorial Cup for Prince Alfred College's best-and-fairest footballer. He is with Gordon Schwartz.
TROPHY: Jamison Murphy was a joint winner of the Mark Schwartz Memorial Cup for Prince Alfred College's best-and-fairest footballer. He is with Gordon Schwartz.

A photograph published in The Recorder brought back memories of one of the best-ever sportsmen in Port Pirie.

Gordon Schwartz, former star footballer and Advertiser sport journalist, appeared in the photograph with Port Pirie's Jamison Murphy who jointly won the Mark Schwartz Memorial Cup football trophy at Prince Alfred College.

It prompted former mayor and all-round sportsman Ken Madigan to contact the newspaper saying that Mr Schwartz must now be 97 years old.

"Gordon was a fine journalist, covering national and international sport events, and was a super sportsman," he said. "While he was not born in Port Pirie, he grew up here from a young age, I went to Pirie West school with his brother Blair who was a little older than me.

"I saw Gordon score a double-century at Memorial Oval and win the Port Pirie Football Association goal-kicking. He was a star for Proprietary, Norwood and West Torrens and one year in The Recorder competition was voted by the public as the most popular footballer in Port Pirie.

"He was a top tennis player, a regular South Australian team member, won many tennis tournaments and one year took the United States' Davis Cup captain, Ted Schroeder, to five sets in a state tennis championship.

"One year. I partnered Gordon in the local competition. He won many table-tennis titles around the state and had a golf handicap of three. He served in England with the Royal Australian Air Force in World War II in the cumbersome Sunderland flying boats searching for German U-boats in the North Sea.

"His mother played social tennis with my mother and, as a 10-year-old, I recall hearing the women always asking during the war, 'how is your son, Gordon?'

"He started his journalism career as a sports reporter for The Recorder. I still have a few of his articles on my tennis future. It was a wonderful photograph that brought back memories of one of Port Pirie's best-ever sportsmen."

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