Australian Football Celebrating the history of the great Australian game


Key Facts

Full name
David Low

Known as
Dave Low

4 August 1916

Place of death
United Kingdom

Senior clubs
West Torrens

Recruited from
North Broken Hill (1910)

Dave Low

ClubLeagueCareer spanGamesGoalsAvgWin %AKIAHBAMKBV
West TorrensSAFL1910-19156800.00

David Low (surname spelt ‘Lowe’ in some sources) hailed from Broken Hill where he began his playing career with the North Club, and both there and during his comparatively brief league stint with West Torrens he established himself as one of the finest defenders of the period. His death in action during World War I deprived football of a talent which might ultimately have acquired legendary status.

After making his debut with Torrens in 1910 Dave Low was quick to gain a reputation as a “strong and distinguished defender”. In his second season he was selected in South Australia’s team for the Adelaide carnival and was, by common consent, the best backman on view during the home state’s demolition of the VFL in the deciding game of the championships. Later that season he finished second to Harry Cumberland of Sturt in the Magarey Medal voting.

The 1912 season brought state selection once more together with a ‘gold medal’ as West Torrens club champion. Topping both of these achievements, however, was Low’s selection as the 1912 Magarey Medallist, the first permanent defender to secure the award. Despite this, the achievement that Low would no doubt most have wanted - participation in the blue and golds’ first ever premiership - did not eventuate as Torrens were dislodged from contention in the First Semi Final by Port Adelaide.

Dave Low continued to play consistently well for two more seasons. After representing South Australia at the 1914 Sydney carnival (when he “shone in defence”) he returned home to help West Torrens - which had been 0-5-1 after six games - mount a sustained late season charge which ultimately saw them dislodge West Adelaide from fourth place. Once again, however, Dave Low did not enjoy finals participation beyond the semi final stage as North Adelaide promptly brought West Torrens’ season to an end in a low scoring game by nine points. By this time though league football was the last thing on most people’s minds as the ‘war to end all wars’ lurched slowly but ominously into top gear.

Dave Low played the first four matches of what was to be the SANFL’s last full scale - or near full scale - season for four years in 1915 before enlisting and setting sail for Africa, and then Europe. Along with many other talented men of his generation he never returned to Australia, dying in hospital in England of wounds received whilst fighting in France.

Author - John Devaney


Full Points Footy's SA Football Companion


* Behinds calculated from the 1965 season on.
+ Score at the end of extra time.