Australian Football Celebrating the history of the great Australian game


Key Facts

Full name
Neil Besanko

Known as
Neil Besanko

28 April 1951 (age 71)

Age at first & last AFL game
First game: 17y 62d
Last game: 29y 362d

Height and weight
Height: 187 cm
Weight: 88 kg

Senior clubs
St. Kilda; Essendon; Central District

Jumper numbers
St. Kilda: 46, 29, 11
Essendon: 30

Recruited from
St. Kilda (1978); Essendon (1982)

Family links
Barry Besanko (Brother)

Neil Besanko

ClubLeagueCareer spanGamesGoalsAvgWin %AKIAHBAMKBV
St. KildaV/AFL1968-197714940.0352%11.532.692.678
Central DistrictSANFL19822100.00

AFL: 8,063rd player to appear, 788th most games played, 6,263rd most goals kickedSt. Kilda: 1,143rd player to appear, 63rd most games played, 655th most goals kickedEssendon: 857th player to appear, 427th most games played, 829th most goals kicked

Dashing half back flanker who uses his obvious speed to break up opposition attacks with great determination.¹

Neil Besanko was a regular fixture in the St Kilda defence during the 1970s. Nicknamed 'Racehorse' (he was also a professional sprinter) Besanko gave 10 seasons of fine service to the Saints in 149 matches between 1968 and 1977, and was a member of the Saints' losing 1971 Grand Final against Hawthorn. Besanko later played 35 games for Essendon over four seasons before retiring at the end of 1981. Besanko's brother Barry also played three games for the Bombers in 1981.

Author - Andrew Gigacz


1. “Football Record”, 25/9/71, page 6.


Encyclopedia of Australian Footballers - Holmesby and Main, Crème de la Crème


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