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Obituary - Kevin Silva

Obituary - Kevin Silva

12 February 2018

South Adelaide Football Club members were saddened to hear of the recent death of past player Kevin Silva.

Kevin was a 6'5" ruckman/forward who played 36 league games and many more seconds (reserves) games for the Panthers from 1958-1964.

Joining South Adelaide from Lobethal in 1958, he won the Nitschke trophy for the best ruckman in the SANFL seconds competition. This was acknowledged in the 1958 SAFC Annual Report.

In 1959 and 1960 Silva was "in and out" of the senior South team until, disappointed with his own form, he returned to Lobethal and played in its 1961 and 1962 premierships, the latter as captain-coach..

In 1963, after promotion in the bank to a city appointment, he re-joined the Panthers, playing eight league games and was rated as South's best player in the Seconds Grand Final loss to Port Adelaide.

In 1964 Neil Kerley took over as captain- coach of the league team and, aware of Silva's potential, encouraged him to stay with the Panthers.

He played in the first three league games (which the team won for the first time in decades) but then injured his knee.

By the time he was ready to return, Kerley had been cleared by West Adelaide, and with super-talented Darley and Kantilla also in the strong South team of 1964, it was hard to get back in.

Silva played two more league games later in the season but still troubled by the knee injury, struggled with his mobility. He finished the year in the seconds, unfortunately missing out on playing in the League Premiership.

Nevertheless he enjoyed playing under Kerley whom he felt had got the best out of him.

After football retirement Silva moved to Victoria through his employment as a bank manager.

He had a long and happy marriage to Joyce, producing 5 children and 12 grandchildren.

He came to Adelaide with Joyce in 1994 to attend the 30-year reunion of the 1964 team.

Kevin's last years were dogged by poor health and he died in December 2017 at 81 years of age.

He remembered his time at South fondly and his son requested that a Panthers cap be placed on his coffin. This was arranged by 1964 teammate Tony Shaw.

Randal Williams
SAFC Heritage Committee


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