Australian Football Celebrating the history of the great Australian game


Key Facts

Full name
Robert Snell

Known as
Bob Snell

15 February 1903

Place of birth
Collie, WA (6225)

1983 (aged 79‡)

Senior clubs
East Perth; West Adelaide; New Town

Recruited from
East Perth (1927)

State of origin

‡ Approximate age

Bob Snell

ClubLeagueCareer spanGamesGoalsAvgWin %AKIAHBAMKBV
East PerthWAFL1923-19242620.08
West AdelaideSANFL1927-1930, 1932-193384160.19
New TownTANFL1931
Total1923-1924, 1927-1933110180.16

Dashing, poised and copiously skilled - the editor of ‘The SANFL Football Budget’ once opined that “Snell’s skill has to be so often lauded that one finds it difficult to describe” - Bob Snell enjoyed success at the top level in three traditional football states. He took his bows in 1923 with East Perth, having travelled to the metropolis from Collie near Bunbury anxious to prove himself in league football. It took a while, but he eventually managed to do this, earning selection the following year in two West Australian second-choice 18s which played the visiting Essendon and North Adelaide club sides.

In 1925, after 26 senior games for the Royals, Snell sought a clearance to West Adelaide, but when this was refused he played instead in a variety of amateur and junior competitions. It was a similar story in 1926, but after two full years he was finally cleared to West in time for round one of the 1927 season. It did not prove to be an auspicious start: Snell missed the opening two rounds with influenza, and when he finally fronted up in round three against West Torrens he was given a proverbial ‘bath’ by opposing centreman Roy Brown. Gradually, however, he came good, and at season’s end was a significant contributor to an unexpected, but thoroughly warranted, West Adelaide premiership victory.

Snell’s best season was 1929 when he landed the Magarey Medal (he is pictured receiving his Medal from league chairman Thomas O’Halloran on the Adelaide Oval; it was the first ever time that the Medallist had been publicly honoured in this way). Money was tight, however, and two seasons later Bob Snell was lining up with New Town in the TANFL, where he was paid the princely sum of £5 a match - the equivalent of a week’s wage for a skilled labourer. Returning to Adelaide, Snell finished his league career with a further two seasons at West Adelaide for an ultimate total of 84 senior games for the club. He represented South Australia 13 times.

Author - John Devaney


Full Points Footy's SA Football Companion


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