Sam Newman – Retired Australian Rules Player

A member of Australian Football Hall of Fame, Sam Newman represented Geelong in VFL for nearly 2 decades.

Born on December 22, 1945, Sam Newman was a fine Australian Rules Player who started his career at the age of 18. Throughout his playing career, he managed to etch his name as an immortal in history of the game through his achievements.

sam newman

Playing Career

1964-1980 – Geelong Football Club

Though popular by the name Sam Newman, Sam’s actual name is John Noel William Newman. Newman completed his schooling from Geelong Grammar and at the age of 18, he made his VFL debut with Geelong in 1964. He continued to play for the club until his retirement. The first ever semi-final he played was against Collingwood in 1967. That particular match did not end well for him and he ended with a severe injury following which he had to undergo a surgery and had a part of his kidney removed. The following season was however good for him and he ended up winning the Best and Fairest award of Geelong. He repeated the history in 1975. In 1969, because of his performance and contributions to the game, he selected as an All-Australian player. He also represented the Victorian State Team on 8 occasions. He eventually retired in 1980 after playing a total of 300 games out of which he managed to kick a total of 10 goals. Throughout his playing career, he managed to poll 100 votes for Brownlow Medal.

Post Retirement

After retirement in 1980, Melbourne Football Club recruited him as a ruck coach in December 2005. During his coaching career, he mentored some great players like Paul Johnson, Mark Jamar and Jeff White. Prior to his appointment as ruck coach, he was inducted into Australian Football Hall of Fame in year 2002. In 2010, he participated as a player in a Charity Match and player for Victoria in the annually held EJ Whitten Legends Game. The team he played for was All Stars. All Stars lost the game by 7 points but Sam Newman did manage to kick 4 goals out of 4 kicks and 3 of the marks he took were named as best marks on ground.

Media Engagement

In 1981 – one year after his retirement – Sam Newman started his media career by joining 3AW radio station as a commentator and continued until the end of 1999 season. In the meantime, from 1981 to 1987, Newman also appeared on Channel 7’s World of Sport. Apart from that, he was also in The Footy Show of Nine Network in 1994.


From 1997 to 2014, Newman had been involved in a series of controversies with the first one being his girlfriend breaking his leg by driving his car right into him right in front of his house. This happened in 1997. Two years later in 1999, he impersonated Nicky Winmar on The Footy Show by making his face black. The last and latest controversy he was involved in was in 2014 when Newman exposed his genitals to an audience of national television.

Awards And Achievements

Sam Newman was a fine ruckman. Though he was not really a much-decorated player throughout his career, he did manage to get some awards throughout his playing career, which are mentioned below:

  • Victorian Representative: 8 times.
  • Member of Geelong Football Club Team of the Century.
  • 1968 and 1975: Winner of Carji Greeves Medal.
  • 1969: Member of All-Australian Team.
  • 2002: Inducted into Australian Football Hall of Fame.
  • 2005: Appointed as Ruck Coach of Melbourne Football Club.

Newman was a fine player and his contributions to the game will be remembered forever.

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