Australian Football Celebrating the history of the great Australian game


Key Facts

Full name
Terry O'Neill

Known as
Terry O'Neill


10 June 1956 (age 66)

Place of birth
Narrandera, NSW (2700)

Age at first & last AFL game
First game: 19y 60d
Last game: 26y 352d

Height and weight
Height: 189 cm
Weight: 81 kg

Senior clubs
South Melbourne; Port Melbourne; Fitzroy

Jumper numbers
South Melbourne: 19
Fitzroy: 25

Recruited from
South Melbourne (1980); Port Melbourne (1981); Fitzroy (1984)

State of origin

Terry O'Neill

ClubLeagueCareer spanGamesGoalsAvgWin %AKIAHBAMKBV
South MelbourneV/AFL1975-198073140.1941%8.403.853.2917
Port MelbourneVFA1980900.00

AFL: 8,783rd player to appear, 2,357th most games played, 4,226th most goals kickedSouth Melbourne: 1,037th player to appear, 211th most games played, 406th most goals kickedFitzroy: 986th player to appear, 381st most games played, 787th most goals kicked

Terry O'Neill was an ever-reliable fullback and key defender player who after serviceable stints with South Melbourne and Fitzroy in the VFL moved north to Queensland and became one of that state's outstanding defenders and coaches. 

Hailing from Narrandera in the Riverina, O'Neill was recruited to South Melbourne in 1975. After two seasons in which he struggled to hold down a senior place, his breakthrough came in 1977 with a switch to full back. The tall lanky defender was outstanding all year, holding star full forward Peter Hudson to six goals in two games, and polling 14 Brownlow votes to be the club's second highest vote getter (behind winner Graham Teasdale). He followed this up with another good season in 1978. 

By early 1980, however, O'Neill found himself out of favour at the club and was cleared mid-season to VFA powerhouse Port Melbourne. It proved auspicious timing as the Boroughs won the flag that year, with O'Neill steadfast in defence. At the end of that season he made the switch back to the VFL, this time with Fitzroy, and remained with the Lions until 1983, when senior opportunities had become limited. 

In 1984 he moved to Queensland to play with Coorparoo, quickly establishing himself as one of competition's leading defenders, alongside fellow Victorian and defensive partner Kevin O'Keefe. Both went on to become club favourites at the Roos. O'Neill played over 100 games at Coorparoo, was a key member of the 1984 and 1986 premiership teams, and coached the side in 1987 and 1988. He was also an automatic state selection during the 1980s, playing 25 times for the Maroons and captaining the team in 1988. 

Author - Adam Cardosi


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