Australian Soccer Corridor of Fame member and “proud and passionate South Australian” Neil Kerley has died in a car crash. He was 88.
Kerley made his mark on Australia’s residence-developed football code as an fantastic player, mentor, administrator and media determine.
Even extended following his retirement as a participant, Kerley’s passionate support for South Australia – particularly in Point out of Origin clashes with arch-rival Victoria – was unrivalled.
Kerley – affectionately nicknamed “Knuckles” – performed 276 video games for West Adelaide, South Adelaide and Glenelg, and represented his state 32 times. He also coached 5 SANFL clubs to a full of 4 premierships.
When the Adelaide Crows entered the AFL in 1991, Kerley was appointed their inaugural football manager as a essential help figure to 1st-yr mentor Graham Cornes.
“Neil’s contribution to the recreation is immeasurable and he embodied what it implies to be a happy and passionate South Australian,” Crows chairman John Olsen claimed in a assertion.
“As a participant and coach, he was difficult and uncompromising and he commanded respect, and he will be remembered as a person of football’s terrific characters.
“In the context of his general profession, his time at the Crows was quick but his influence is greatest described as sizeable supplied he aided establish the club from the floor up.”
Kerley’s verbal stoushes prior to Victorian counterpart Ted Whitten all through Point out of Origin fixtures have been the stuff of legend.
But the fiercely proud South Australian admitted in 2014 he most likely really should have headed east at some point in his career.
“Not coming to Victoria [was a regret],” he explained to Fox Footy’s Open up Mike. “If I could have walked out of there and played below the next yr, then yes, I would have occur, for a couple of many years it’s possible.”
The AFL compensated tribute to Kerley and his affect on football in South Australia. “Neil Kerley was the embodiment of football in South Australia,” chief executive Gillon McLachlan claimed.
“He devoted his lifestyle to the match, introduced improvement and accomplishment anywhere he went throughout the SANFL levels of competition and was certainly driven in the bring about of point out soccer, and significantly placing a victory above the Major V.
“In coaching the Croweaters for 10 different a long time of condition football, he was the lifeblood of the video game in the state and relentlessly drove the status of SA football and its footballers on the countrywide stage.”
Kerley died on Wednesday afternoon in a motor vehicle incident in the Murraylands location of SA. He is survived by his spouse Barb and family.
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