Neil Kerley
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The news that Neil “Knuckles” Kerley, 88, had died in a car accident horrified all of South Australia’s football supporters.

88 years old Former Australian rules football player and coach Neil Kerley went by the full name Donald Neil Kerley AM. On June 29, 2022, he passed away.

The 32 state games he played for South Australia and the four SANFL (South Australian National Football League) titles he oversaw for three decades are what people most often recall about him.

When Kerley’s automobile reportedly crashed through a fence and into a pasture on Mallee Road in the Murraylands, it was reportedly towing a trailer.

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Neil Kerley Wife Barbara Gordon, Children & Family

Neil Kerley first met Barbara Gordon in 1955 while coaching North Whyalla. The pair wed on February 25, 1955, in St. Teresa’s Catholic Church in Whyalla and had three children together (Donald Jr, Robyn and Gail).

According to a story told by Kerley in Jim Rosevear’s 2003 book Knuckles.
In 1988, during one of his first practices as the head coach of Central District, Kerles told his team that a spectator in the grandstand knew just as much about football as he did.

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He agreed to let him know who had trained well and who hadn’t on the 45-kilometre journey from Elizabeth to the couple’s house in Bellevue Heights.

Kerls was alluding to his wife Barbara, who had supported her husband’s Aussie rules football teams for more than 30 years.

As time went on, Barbara was regularly able to inform Neil about happenings during practices or games that he had missed, which was something he truly valued as a coach.

SA Footy Legend Neil Kerley Died In A Car Accident

According to reports, Neil Kerley’s automobile crashed into a farm on Mallee Road in the Murraylands while towing a trailer.

The tragedy occurred just before 5.30 p.m., near the tiny Murray River town of Walker Flat, about 100 kilometres north of Adelaide, according to a statement from the South Australian police.

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Just before 5.30 p.m. today, a car carrying a trailer was reportedly off the road and smashed through a fence into a pasture, according to sources. On Mallee Road, police and emergency services were called.

The West Adelaide Football Club expressed their “shock and tremendous sadness” at the development in a statement they issued as soon as the information became known.

In this trying time, our thoughts are with his family, friends, and the entire West Adelaide and SA Football community, the statement continued.

Career Of Neil Kerley

Neil Kerley began playing football in the late 1940s with Barmera in the Riverland Football League before switching to West Adelaide in 1952.

In response to Neil Kerley’s passing, the Barmera-Monash Football Club and the greater Barmera community both voiced their “devastation.”

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Over the span of three decades as a player and coach, he was a dynamic player who guided three clubs to four South Australian National Football League titles. He also took part in 32 games for South Australia.

Following the conclusion of his coaching career, Kerley worked as a boundary rider for Channel 7’s AFL broadcasts in the 1990s, and up until his demise, he served as a selector for the AFL’s All-Australian team.

The Glenelg Football Club released a statement on Wednesday night in which it acknowledged its shock and deep regret at Neil Kerley’s loss.

In this trying time, “our thoughts and prayers are with his family, friends, and the entire South African football community.”

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