At the time of his retirement in 1979, few players had served the Adelaide University Football Club longer or played more games (222) for the Club than R.K. (Bob) Penhall. Beginning in 1965 with the University Colts team, Bob progressed through the grades winning the Best and Fairest Trophy for the A3’s in 1969. This earned selection in the A1 side the following year.
Bob was always very Club spirited and was eager to pass on his experiences coaching in the lower grades. He took over the difficult and responsible task of Captain-Coach of the Club‘s third side. In this role he was Captain-Coach of the A4’s in 1973 and the A1 Reserves in 1976 and 1979. In 1980 he coached the Club’s second side in A3 – the side narrowly missed a place in the four.
Bob continued to play until his retirement at the end of the 1980 season and in all played 222 Club games. During his playing days Bob won the Best and Fairest in the A3’s in 1969 and in 1974 was the Best Team Man in the A1 Reserves.
For dedicated service to the Club, Bob was awarded the coveted Semaphore Central Best Club Man Trophy in 1976.
On his retirement from playing, Bob took on the responsibilities of Club Doctor that had always been a difficult position to fill. Bob remained in that role from 1981 to 1984 and provided a valuable support to the players. In 1984, Bob was awarded the Outstanding Service trophy as recognition of his efforts as Club Doctor.
Bob Penhall was elected as an Honorary Life Member in 1983, along with Neil Beagley. This was highly appropriate as they had both started as Freshmen with ‘the Blacks’ in 1965.
Bob has two sons who have played for ‘the Blacks’. John L. Penhall played 30 games in the lower grades in 1999 and 2000 (for two Premierships) and Hugh A. Penhall commenced playing in 2006.