Home >  Blog >  Charles Knuckey - The Man Behind the Cup

Charles Knuckey - The Man Behind the Cup

Posted by South Adelaide Football Club on 27 September 2016
Charles Knuckey - The Man Behind the Cup

In 1923, passionate South Adelaide supporter Charlie Knuckey donated a silver cup to be awarded annually to the best and fairest player in the league team.

The first award was made to Dan Moriarty who had previously won three consecutive Magarey Medals, still the only SANFL player who has achieved this.

Many champions since have had their names etched into South Adelaide's highest individual honour, including the likes of Frank Tully, Jim Deane, Peter Darley, Mark Naley, David Kappler, Nick Liddle and Joel Cross.

Darley won the Cup seven times, the most of any player, with Deane not far behind him with six.

The Knuckey Cup is the oldest award of its type in the SANFL, having now has been presented for over 90 years, but what of the man behind it?

Charles Kingscote Knuckey was born in 1888, the fourth of five children to John and Louisa Knuckey, of Kensington Gardens. He died in in the North Eastern Community Hospital, Campbelltown in 1988, just two weeks short of his 100th birthday. Nora, his wife of 70 years died two weeks later.

Early Years

Charlie's father died when Charlie was an infant and his mother struggled bringing up the family. They moved to West Terrace where she took in boarders.

As a youngster Charlie watched the West Adelaide Football Club train on the parklands opposite his home, but after being taken to a game between South and Norwood, the dominant teams of the early SA competition, he became a passionate South Adelaide supporter. South had won seven premierships between 1866 and 1900.

Charlie played in South's junior grades but was small and slight and never made the senior team. However he was friendly with many of the players and often carried their boots when they played in the South Parklands. He developed a lifelong interest with the Panthers and sport in general.

War Service

In 1908 he took a job as a commercial traveller with the SA Paper Bag Co. but this budding career was interrupted by the outbreak of the Great War.

Charlie enlisted in 1914 and served in the medical corps in Egypt, Gallipoli, France and England.

Returning home in 1918 he renewed his association with South Adelaide.

In 1919 he married Nora Drury whom he had met in England and they had two sons, Kim and Richard and a daughter Naida.

Commercial Traveller

Charlie had an early interest in motoring and established the Knuckey Rubber and Tyre Co. in Grenfell St, specialising in tyre sales and repairs. He was one of the very early SA drivers with a licence number comprising only three figures. Charlie worked as a commercial traveller (travelling salesman) for most of his working life regularly driving as far afield as Eyre Peninsula and Broken Hill. He enjoyed driving and his many cars, and bought his last new car at the grand old age of 93.

He also kept an aviary where he bred finches, and played kettledrum in the Caledonian Society pipe band. He had a strong affinity with Kangaroo Island where his mother was born she had given him the second name Kingscote.

Career with South Adelaide Football Club

Over his lifetime Charlie occupied almost every position on South Adelaide committees. He witnessed the 1935, 1938 and 1964 premierships and shared his passion for South Adelaide with his family. After the 1964 Grand Final, Charlie's son Kim bought a keg of beer for his neighbours in Felixstowe, mostly Norwood supporters with some winnings wagered on the match.

During his time at South he tried particularly to protect South's recruiting zones, which had suffered in the electorate system introduced at the turn of the 20th century, and again in the 1970's redistribution.

Football Publications

In 1960 he published a booklet History of the South Adelaide Football Club which ran to only 16 pages but is a concise account to that time. He also edited a 180-page book South Australian Football the Past and the Present; 1860-1965

Charlie personally presented the Knuckey Cup until his death, only absence or illness could prevent him from doing so. His grandson Brett Knuckey, a volunteer remedial massage therapist at the Club, has continued this tradition since Charlie's death.

Charlie Knuckey was the sort of person that football clubs depend and thrive on. He devoted much of his private time to South Adelaide over his long life and is fittingly remembered in the award which he inaugurated and bears his name.

Randal Williams
SAFC Heritage Committee

Author: South Adelaide Football Club
Tags: Panthers Football Panthers News Panthers Events

Latest News

PanthersTV: Round 11 Highlights - South Adelaide Vs Adelaide

Posted by South Adelaide Football Club on 18 June 2018
PanthersTV: Round 11 Highlights - South Adelaide Vs Adelaide
South Adelaide has registered their largest winning margin of the season after a 112-point dismantling of Adelaide during their White Ribbon cla...
Posted in: SANFL Senior Football Senior Match Reviews Panthers Football Panthers News Highlights PantherTV  

Injury Report - Round 11

Posted by South Adelaide Football Club on 18 June 2018
Injury Report - Round 11
Player Name Injury Estimated Return Nathan Kreuger Concussion Available...
Posted in: SANFL Senior Football Injury List Panthers Football Panthers News  

Under 18s Report: Round 10 - South Adelaide vs Sturt

Posted by South Adelaide Football Club on 18 June 2018
Under 18s Report: Round 10 - South Adelaide vs Sturt
Under-18s Match Report South Adelaide vs Sturt
Round 10 - Peter Motley Oval - 17/06/18 South Adelaide 0.2 ...
Posted in: Junior Football Junior Match Reviews Panthers Football Panthers News  
< Previous | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | Next >

SANFL Ladder























  • SANFL Round 11

    South Adelaide vs Adelaide
    Venue: Hickinbotham Oval
    Time: 2:10pm, SATURDAY June 17

  • SANFL Round 11

    Central District vs South Adelaide
    Venue: My Money House Oval
    Time: 2:10pm, SATURDAY June 23

  • SANFL Round 12

    South Adelaide vs Bye
    Venue: BYE
    Time: BYE

  • SANFL Round 13

    South Adelaide vs West Adelaide
    Venue: Hickinbotham Oval
    Time: 2:10pm, SATURDAY July 7

Club contact details

1 Lovelock Drive,
Noarlunga Downs SA 5168

P : (08) 8186-8200
F : (08) 8326-6800
E : reception@safc.com.au

Bookmark SiteTell a FriendPrint