Vale Len Atkins OAM
The South Adelaide Football Club is saddened to learn of the recent passing of former player and coach Len Atkins OAM.
In his earlier years, Len played for Semaphore Centrals (1953-55) and in 1955 was selected in the State SAAFL side that played Victoria at Alberton Oval on June 13th.
In that game, he ran off the bench just after halftime and kicked a goal within a minute.
In 1956 he played for South Australia in the AAFC Carnival in Hobart and kicked goals in every game.
Eventually he was recruited to South Adelaide and played 30 games for the Panthers between 1957-59, kicking 23 goals.
In the 1960-61, Len moved to the Northern Territory and took on the role of captain/coach of Waratahs Football Club in NTFL competition. In this time, he was also top goalkicker with the club (20).
During this time, Len made one of his most significant contributions to South Adelaide in recommending a young athletic ruckman from the Tiwi Islands named David Kantilla to the club.
Post playing career, Len accepted the role of coaching South Adelaide's second eighteen, leading them to a Preliminary Final in each of his years at the helm (1967-68), while also serving as an assistant coach to Peter Darley in 1968.
In 1969 he left South Adelaide to coach McLaren Vale in the Southern Football League.
Len also enjoyed a successful squash career.
He was named a five-time National Age Squash Champion - Under 45 (1980/81/82) and Under 50 (1984/86) - and became a Life Member of the SA Squash Association, Squash Australia.
The thoughts of South Adelaide are with Len's family, friends, teammates and all that remember him fondly on and off the football field.