Rugby League

St Kilda lose a premiership hero: ‘Cowboy’ Neale dies at 78

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St Kilda premiership hero Kevin “Cowboy” Neale has died at the age of 78.

“His health struggles in recent times were well-publicised, and his teammates regularly visited him in Albury as a group. Through the difficult times, his wife Georgina was a constant pillar of strength and the club extends its deepest sympathies to her and the Neale family,” the club said in a statement on Sunday.

Kevin ‘Cowboy’ Neale.Credit: St Kilda Football Club/Supplied

“Cowboy was truly a beloved figure at the Saints, not only among his teammates and fans, but by those who worked alongside him at the club long after his playing days.”

Neale, renowned for his strength and able to play as a key defender or forward, was recruited from South Warrnambool in 1965 and set a then club record of 256 games.

He later captain-coached Canberra club Ainslie to four premierships in the ACT and also led the ACT to a famous victory over a Victorian team in a precursor to State of Origin. He then coached Central District in the SANFL.

Returning to the Saints in later years, he worked in the marketing department and was president of the Past Players Association.


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