John Homburg immediately endeared himself to the Adelaide University Football Club community when he joined ‘the Blacks’ in 1979. Indeed, in his first season he joined the Social Committee and won the coveted Most Dedicated Amateur award.
Raw statistics do not tell the full story of John’s involvements in the Club – 47 games between 1979 and 1987, with 6 goals (although the three against Riverside in A1 Reserves in 1980 live on in many people’s memory).
John’s contribution to ‘the Blacks’ had multiple dimensions – many of which were not easily recognisable by fellow players.
In his second season with ‘the Blacks’ in 1980, John took control of the A9’s as Captain-Coach. In this season the side missed out on the Finals by the narrowest of margins when his team drew the last minor round game when a win was needed to clinch a place in the four.
John filled the demanding role of Chairman from 1981 to 1987, whilst still undertaking many other duties. For example, in 1981 he was Assistant Coach and Team Manager of the A1 Reserves, a position that had been hard to fill in previous seasons.
‘Burger’ was a delegate to the SAAFL in the mid-1980’s and was the key resource in redrafting the League’s constitution and by-laws. John collected subscriptions and was an official with both the A1’s and A1 Reserves, etc. The 1983 Secretary’s Report sum up sentiments about ‘Burger’ when it states “his undying enthusiasm must not pass by unnoticed”.
In 1982, John was the driving force behind the establishment of a canteen in the Long Room, which ensured A1 Reserves players remained at the oval to watch the A1’s, in addition to generating funds for the Club.
John was awarded Club Letters in 1982. Acknowledgement of his commitment can be seen from awards of the Best Club Man trophy in 1983 and the Outstanding Service trophy in 1981 and in 1993 – a rare trifecta.
John was instrumental in formalising ‘the Greys’ – ‘the Blacks’ Past Players and Supporters Club – by drafting a constitution and managing the process leading to its incorporation in January 1988.
John was a long term Fitness Coach and Runner for the A1 side for most seasons from 1984 until 1997. His knowledge and experience in this area lead him to be appointed Fitness Coach and Runner for State Amateur side in 1994.
John was always one to contribute where needed and he also took on diverse roles such as boundary umpire for the A1 Reserves in 1991 and Team Manager in 1995, even when involved with the A1 team.
His contribution to the A1 team, and in particular the Premiership in 1986 when he was the Runner, Fitness Coach, Chairman of Selectors and Club Chairman should not be underestimated.
John Homburg had unlimited energy and enthusiasm and left an indelible mark on the Adelaide University Football Club. He was made an Honorary Life Member in 1994.