JOHN “SAM” NEWMAN was recruited from Geelong Grammar School by the Geelong Cats in 1964, and played 300 Games, kicking 110 Goals until his retirement as a player in 1980. Newman was a leading Australian Football Player with the Cats, however is best known for his notoriety as a Television personality. There are a number of Newman’s football cards, and many of his team-mates cards available at qualityafltradingcards.com.
Newman was gifted with plenty of natural ability, had impressive athleticism for his size, was a superlative mark and a strong kick. He acknowledges the incredible advantage he had in playing alongside the ruck superstar Graham “Polly” Farmer in his formative years, and he demonstrated the depth of his learning, when he won the Cats Best and Fairest award in the first season after Farmer’s return to Western Australia. Newman was the consumate Team Player, who was one of the leading mark takers, around the ground, during the development phase of the modern game we enjoy today.
John Newman suffered a serious injury in a 1967 Final against Collingwood, which resulted in surgeons removing part of a kidney, and it is testament to his courage, that he returned to enjoy a highly successful 1968 Season, without any trepidation. Newman won a numnber of awards and playing honours during his career, which included :- Winner of the Geelong Cats Best and Fairest Award ( Carji Greeves Medal ) in both 1968 and 1975, Captain of the Geelong Cats in 1974 and 1975, selection in the Victorian State Team on 8 occasions, selection as an All Australian in 1969, and induction to the Australian Football League Hall of Fame in 2002. It was unfortunate that “Sam” had a series of Ankle injuries and Achilles problems during the latter part of his career, which hindered his athleticism, agility and restricted the impact of his huge leap, that had proven to be one of his strongest assets.
John Newman has become a household name synonymous with Australian Rules Football, particularly in his role as resident comedian on the Channel Nine Footy Show. He has enjoyed considerable success in the media, and we can sometimes forget that Newman was part of the original Footy Show Team when it first aired in 1994. He has always shown a keen interest in developing young ruckmen and assisted the Melbourne Demons in this capacity from late 2005. The benefit of utilising his experience , combined with the guile and wisdom of his “Polly Farmer” tutelage, cannot be under-estimated.
Although a number of controversies have dogged Newman over the years , no-one can deny his courage and commitment as a player. The true grit and team spirit of the man was further amplified when he approved Television camera access to cover a procedure to have his cancerous Prostate removed in 2008. The stated purpose of this endeavour was to raise further awareness of Prostate problems to the general public, and in particular, to encourage men to seek regular testing. “Sam” Newman can push the limits as a media personality, but his inner strength and personal commitment to the causes that inspire him, knows no bounds.
( Image courtesy of thebigtip.com.au ).