To those outside the Adelaide Football Club, Alan Trewartha may best be known as a smiling face in the Crows’ coaches’ box at a weekend SANFL game. 

But to those inside the four walls at West Lakes, Trewartha - nicknamed ‘the Colonel’ - is one of the Club’s longest-standing stalwarts. 

Trewartha has been with the Club since its inception after answering a newspaper advertisement seeking room staff, trainers and statisticians.

He was doing stats for the Glenelg Football Club at the time and commenced with the Crows for their first trial game against Essendon in 1991.

On Saturday, the Colonel called time on a spectacular career, hanging up his headset after 31 years at the Club. 

Sitting down with AFC Media, Trewartha recalled his career from the very beginning - and why the thought never crossed his mind that he would spend his weekends doing anything else. 

“In 1990 I saw this little ad in the paper for an Adelaide Football Club which wanted room staff, trainers… and statisticians,” Trewartha said. 

“I said, ‘Should we apply?’, so we applied and we actually got the gig, and that’s how it started.

“Got my letter of appointment in December and started the very first trial game in 1991.”

Believed to have missed just six games in his time at the Club, Trewartha’s love for footy - and the Crows - never faltered over his three decades of service. 

“It’s about the people who have the Crows at heart that you’ve met along the way, and that’s made the relationship really good,” Trewartha said. 

“In the mid-90s I was actually working real estate so I was able to plan my open inspections around when games were on.

"It’s about the people who have the Crows at heart that you’ve met along the way"

“I never waned on the fact that I needed to be at the football on the weekend.”

Trewartha’s years as a Clubman saw him attend three Grand Finals, which he cited as “his greatest memories”.

“The greatest thrill I had, and probably one of the greatest thrills of my life, was being able to go on the ground of the MCG as soon as the final siren went (in 1998)… it was just sensational,” Trewartha said. 

“Apart from the (1997 and 1998) Grand Finals, as a personal point of view, the 2017 Grand Final, to actually have worked in the coaches box at the Grand Final, was fantastic.

“The result obviously wasn’t what we wanted but it was really nice to be able to say I’ve officiated at a Grand Final.

“(And) I think Adelaide Oval this year, the Geelong game, was sensational. The atmosphere was fantastic.”

Grand Finals aside, what were Trewartha’s favourite moments at the Club?

“Any time we beat Port Adelaide,” he laughed. 

Family also played a large role in supporting the 74-year-old’s time with the Crows. 

“My wife has always really understood why I wanted to be involved with football,” he said. 

“I was a late father. I’ve got a 27-year-old, and being able to bring him to the football as a young kid… he was kicking in the rooms after the footy with the Jarman boys, the Edwards boys - that was such a thrill for him.”

So what kept the Colonel committed to the Club for 31 years? “Great seat at the football,” he joked. 

“I never had that thought (of leaving). I’m a passionate Crows supporter, so what better place to be involved with than the Club?”

In fact, now the Life Member has hung up his hat, Trewartha’s most looking forward to pulling on the tri-colours and getting out to games on the weekends. 

“Next year, I’ll be there at every game,” he said. 

"I never had that thought (of leaving)"

Trewartha is also a part of Adelaide’s Heritage Committee, which aims to keep the Club connected to its past and celebrate its history. 

“When I’m gone, the Heritage Committee will have ensured the history is somewhere for the next generation, or the generation afterwards, to look back and say, ‘Oh, that’s fantastic’,” he said. 

“On the honour boards, and those sort of things, if you have something where a player goes, ‘Look at that’, and the lights come on - I think we’ve achieved something.”

Thanks for everything, Colonel.