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Vale Neil Kerley

Along with the entire South Australian football community, we mourn the loss of the legendary Donald Neil ‘Knuckles’ Kerley.

Adelaide Oval was the scene of many of Neil’s greatest on-field achievements.

Having won the 1961 SANFL Premiership at Adelaide Oval as captain-coach of West Adelaide, he achieved what many thought the impossible three years later by taking the unfancied South Adelaide from last to first as captain-coach in 1964, defeating Port Adelaide in the grand final by 27 points in front of more than 56,000 spectators.

Retiring as a player, he would then coach Glenelg to the 1973 flag in what would be the last SANFL Grand Final at Adelaide Oval for more than 40 years, with his fourth and final SANFL premiership coming with West Adelaide at Football Park in 1983.

Arguably, nobody wore the State guernsey at Adelaide Oval with more pride or purpose than Neil Kerley, blending an outstanding football brain with an equal measure of brawn – to the delight of fans and almost always to the detriment of opponents.

His importance to the game is recognised in his membership in both the South Australian and Australian Football Halls of Fame, and his name adorns a bar in our Riverbank Stand.

On behalf of everyone at Adelaide Oval, our deepest condolences are with Neil’s wife Barbara, his family and friends as well as all who respected and revered him throughout football.

Vale Neil Kerley