• Rikki Lambert

Kerley farewell at Adelaide Oval state funeral on Monday 25 July


Adelaide Crows players formed a guard of honour for Kerley at their 2 July Adelaide Oval match

A state funeral for Australian Football Hall of Fame member Neil Kerley will be as much a celebration of his life as a time to mourn his passing, Acting South Australian Premier Susan Close says.


Ms Close announced on Friday that the service would be held at Adelaide Oval on July 25.


There will be no limit on the number of people allowed to attend, up to the oval's capacity, with the ceremony to be live-streamed as well.


Full details of the event are still being finalised, with many AFL identities expected to attend. The Acting Premier said:

"This will be an opportunity to hear from family and friends and celebrate what the man brought to South Australia, to our community and particularly to our great sport of Aussie rules."

Ms Close said Kerley's family was grateful to be able to share their farewell with all of the people who loved and respected him.

"They are looking forward to a day that they will regard as much as a day of celebration as a moment of mourning."

Kerley, 88, made his mark on Australia's home-grown football code as an outstanding player, coach, administrator and media figure.


Affectionately nicknamed "Knuckles", he played 276 games for West Adelaide, South Adelaide and Glenelg, and represented his state 32 times.


He also coached five SANFL clubs to a total of four premierships.


When the Adelaide Crows entered the AFL in 1991, Kerley was appointed their inaugural football manager as a key support figure to first-year coach Graham Cornes.


Kerley died last month in a car accident in the Murraylands region of SA.


He is survived by his wife Barb and family.