St Kilda has paid its respects to premiership player Kevin Neale, who died overnight aged 78.
Neale was a member of the Saints’ sole premiership victory in 1966
He kicked over 300 goals for the Saints during his 256-match career
Neale made his senior debut as a 19-year-old
Known as ‘Cowboy’, Neale played 256 matches for the Saints, who described him as a “beloved figure” at the club.
He was a member of the Saints’ squad that won the club’s sole VFL/AFL premiership, kicking five goals when they defeated Collingwood by a point in 1966 grand final.
Neale won St Kilda’s best and fairest award in 1973 and was later named in the club’s team of the century and hall of fame.
His death came on the same weekend that AFL legend Ron Barassi died at the age of 87.
“Renowned for his great physical strength as a footballer, he was also blessed with exceptional skills for a big man which enabled him to play as either a key defender or forward,” a St Kilda club statement read.
“Truly a larger than life character in every way, Cowboy was always able to engage with people across various generations.”
Neale played for the Saints between 1965 and 1977, kicking 301 goals, and also represented Victoria.
He was recruited from South Warrnambool and made his senior debut as a 19-year-old.
Neale worked with the Saints during his retirement, while also enjoying a successful coaching career outside of Victoria.
He was captain and coach of Ainslie in the ACT competition, winning four premierships.
Neale also coached the ACT to a victory over a Victorian selection and was involved with SANFL club Central District in the 1980s.
Source: AFL NEWS ABC