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Alan Galloway was recruited to North Adelaide as an 18 year old Roseworthy Agricultural College student after spending his high school years at Waikerie. He made his league debut in round 3 of 1947 which was just after his 19th birthday. His first season was cruelled by injury but in 1948 he was awarded the Best Attention to training award. By 1949 he had become a regular in the league side and played 17 games including the Second Semi Final and Grand Final as a robust half back flanker.
The 1949 Annual Report described Alan as “one of our most determined players. His dash and courage on the half back line assisted to make his name a feared one among his opponents, He was also a more than useful change follower”. At the end of the season he was awarded the Most Determined Player Trophy.
Alan had seasons interrupted by injury in both 1950 and 1951. He missed the first 6 games of 1950 but he was still considered such a valuable member of the team that he was awarded the Best Utility Player Trophy. In 1951 Alan played in the first two games of the year before injury saw him miss the remainder of the minor round. He was rushed back into the side for the finals and such was his form in the finals that he was awarded the Outstanding Finals Player Trophy.
The 1951 side had lost the Grand Final to a very strong Port Adelaide side by the narrow margin of 11 points after being 5 goals down at ¾ time. Alan had rated very high in North’s best players, completely blanketing Port Adelaide key forward Noel Clarke. The narrow loss to a side that had only lost one match for the year strengthened the resolve of North Adelaide for 1952.
Alan yet again had an injury-marred season in 1952 but he managed 14 games for the year, including holding down the key Centre Half Back position in both the Second Semi Final and the record breaking Grand Final victory over Norwood. The 1952 Annual Report stated that Alan “has been plagued by recurring injuries this season but he has always managed to take up where he left off. One of the most feared defenders in the game – a “sticker”, knows how to use hip and shoulder.” Famous News journalist, Lawrie Jervis, similarly described Alan as a “heavy hitting, tear through player, whose vigour has disconcerted many forwards. Prone to injury because of the almost reckless way he tears in.” Alan was awarded the Best Backman Trophy for the 1952 season.
Alan missed the first part of the 1953 season with injury and after playing the last 11 games of the season he was awarded the Serviceable Player award. He was then struck down by another serious injury, this time to his back. He had to undergo neurosurgery, a delicate operation then in its infancy, and as a consequence his illustrious league career was over.
Outside of football Alan’s life was intertwined with animals and particularly with horses. He was a mounted policeman before developing a dairy farm at Mount Barker. From there he started to breed horses and soon bought a property at Nairne which became the most successful ever harness racing stud farm in Australia. The stud was named Alabar after the first three letters of Alan’s name and of his wife, Barbara. Bold Alabar was the first famous horse they bred and later they bred the horse that sired the champion, Popular Alm.
Alan was a nephew of state Premier, Tom Playford. He was married to Barbara for more than 60 years and was blessed with children Julie, Greer and Alan junior. He retired to Coffs Harbour where he passed away on January 23rd, 2020 at 91 years of age.
The North Adelaide Football Club salutes a dual premiership player who overcame serious injury to have a successful football career and then an extremely successful career outside of football.