Australian Football Celebrating the history of the great Australian game


Key Facts

Full name
John Noel William Newman

Known as
John 'Sam' Newman


22 December 1945 (age 78)

Place of birth
Geelong, VIC (3220)

Age at first & last AFL game
First game: 18y 132d
Last game: 34y 266d

Height and weight
Height: 189 cm
Weight: 94 kg

Senior clubs

Jumper numbers
Geelong: 17

State of origin

John 'Sam' Newman

ClubLeagueCareer spanGamesGoalsAvgWin %AKIAHBAMKBV

Pre 1965 stats are for selected matches only

AFL: 7,574th player to appear, 93rd most games played, 979th most goals kickedGeelong: 676th player to appear, 6th most games played, 73rd most goals kicked

Nicknamed 'Sam', John Newman was a prodigiously talented ruckman who inherited Graham 'Polly' Farmer's mantle at Geelong. Like Farmer, he was adept at using his body to attain the optimum position in ruck contests, and also like Farmer, he was a master of creative handball. He made his VFL debut in 1964 and four years later, despite having sustained a serious kidney injury the previous year, he won the first of two club best and fairest awards. In 1969, he achieved All Australian selection after the Adelaide carnival. 

Later in his career, after he was beset by recurrent ankle problems, he moved from the ruck to centre half forward with considerable success. Newman captained the Cats in 1974 and 1975, and represented the VFL on eight occasions. He retired in 1980 after 300 VFL games and 110 goals.  

After his retirement, Newman became a prominent, and often controversial, media figure, firstly on Channel 7's World of Sport football panel, and later as a radio commentator and panel member of Channel 9's long-running Footy Show. In 2001, 'Sam' Newman was included in Geelong's official 'Team of the Twentieth Century'.

Author - John Devaney, with updates by Andrew Gigacz


Full Points Footy Publications


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