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Vale John McDougall

Vale John McDougall

11 May 2023

Goodbye to the boy from Ballarat

South Adelaide Football Club is mourning the loss of long-time volunteer and Life Member John McDougall.

Johnny who joined the Club in 1977 as a trainer, passed away recently after battling illness over the last couple of years.

Made a Life Member in 2014, John held various volunteer roles in nearly 40 years of service to the club including trainer, head property steward, liquid engineer and also sitting on the Committee of the SAFC Past Players & Officials.

South Adelaide CEO Neill Sharpe said John had a great passion for the Panthers and would do what he could to help the players.

The 1980 Team Photo which features John McDougall (left top row) in his position as Trainer. 


“Johnny loved his Panthers, Cats, Speedway and East Ballarat. He would go out of his way to assist every South Adelaide player he could and showed an outstanding commitment to any role he undertook.

“He may have broken the stereotype of the Head Property Steward by being too helpful, but that was John."

"He revolutionised the role of water-boy, by becoming a liquid engineer and our players certainly benefitted from it. The Powerade had to be engineered perfectly."

“We would all get a laugh when Johnny would turn up to training on a cold night wearing a long-sleeve woollen South jumper or would pull-out a vintage Panthers tie.”

John McDougall (Left) at a training session. Image SAFC Media.


In 2012 John’s involvement was the subject of a Messenger article where he recounted the start of his allegiance to the Panthers.

"I wanted to find a club to barrack for and I ended up going to The Parade to watch South play Norwood," John recalls.

"I started barracking for Norwood but 10 minutes into the League match an ex-Victorian player John Ronaldson took a brilliant mark for South and kicked a goal from 70m out."

"One of the Norwood supporters near me yelled to Ronaldson over the fence 'get back across the border you Victorian mongrel', and I've been a South supporter ever since."

Neill Sharpe said Johnny tried to stay involved as long as he could until his health started to deteriorate.

“One of his last roles was going to pick up the bread rolls from Becks Bakehouse off Alex Kappler, the daughter of former player David Kappler, for the Past Players Soup Nights, which were monthly for the senior playing group."

"He really didn’t want to let go and felt like he was letting the players down by not being able to do it, which he certainly wasn’t.”

The South Adelaide Football Club offers its condolences to John’s wife Bev and the McDougall family, friends and the many hundreds of Panther players and staff, who John helped along the way.

The South Adelaide Senior Men's and Women's teams will wear a black arm band in the memory of John on the weekend. 

John McDougall celebrating a birthday with a cake of his two favorite football teams 


About the Author:South Adelaide Football Club

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