AustralianFootball.com Celebrating the history of the great Australian game
18 July 1945 (age 77)
Age at first & last AFL game
First game: 19y 308d
Last game: 32y 40d
Height and weight
Height: 189 cm
Weight: 99 kg
St. Kilda: 31, 18
|Club||League||Career span||Games||Goals||Avg||Win %||AKI||AHB||AMK||BV|
AFL: 7,710th player to appear, 234th most games played, 195th most goals kickedSt. Kilda: 1,118th player to appear, 11th most games played, 9th most goals kicked
Nicknamed ‘Cowboy’ because of his bow legs and rolling gait, Kevin Neale (caricatured right) can lay claim to being one of the St Kilda Football Club’s most noteworthy sons. He joined the Saints from South Warrnambool and made his league debut in round six 1965 against North Melbourne. Early in his career he played mainly as a ruckman changing in a back pocket but later on he also played quite a few games at full forward. In the 1966 grand final, playing at the goal front, he contributed 5 goals to St Kilda’s winning tally of 10.14 to be one of his team’s most effective players.
In 1966-7-8-9 Kevin Neale was St Kilda’s top goal kicker, with 55 goals in 1966 his best tally. Strong, determined and aggressively competitive he won the club’s best and fairest award in 1973 and was a VFL interstate representative against Tasmania in 1967. He left the Saints at the end of the 1977 season having played 256 VFL games and kicked 301 goals.
Appointed captain-coach of Ainslie in 1978 he oversaw four premierships over the course of his six season stint in charge whilst also performing strongly as a player, mainly at full forward. In 1980, 1981 and 1982 he topped the ACTAFL’s goal kicking cahrts, with his tally of 149 in 1980 representing an all time record for the competition.
Neale later coached SANFL club Central District (1984 to 1987) and Tuggeranong of the ACTAFL (1993 to 1995) without notable success.
He was included in St Kilda’s official ‘Team of the Century’ as a back pocket, presumably changing in the ruck.
Author - John Devaney