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Vale Mark Naley

Vale Mark Naley

6 July 2020

South Adelaide Champion passes away.

The South Adelaide Football Club is saddened to learn of the passing of Hall of Famer Mark Naley.

A revered figure at South Adelaide, CEO Neill Sharpe said Mark's loss after a brave battle with illness over the last few years will be felt by many across the football landscape.

"Mark has left an enormous impact on the South Adelaide Football Club, where he captured a generation of fans in the 1980s, and gave the South Adelaide faithful plenty to be excited about. 

"He was such a humble champion of the game and maintained a great connection to the Club following his playing day. Over the last few years, while battling with his health, he'd still get to South Adelaide games and happily sit on the outer or even have a kick of the footy as he did last year at Alberton with son Sam and grandson Finn.

"He is one of the greats of South Adelaide and will be sorely missed."

Mark joined South Adelaide from Sacred Heart College and quickly rose through the Club's junior and senior ranks.

A member of the 1979 Reserves Premiership team, Naley made his debut for the League side a year later and remained a mainstay in the team through to 1986.

In 1984, Mark won the Knuckey Cup (South Adelaide Best and Fairest) after his best season to date.

In 1987 Mark left the Panthers to play with Carlton in the VFL, where he was a regular member of the Blues side all season, finishing the year with a Premiership and 12 Brownlow Medal votes to his name (good enough for equal 10th).

After the 1990 season with Carlton, Mark decided to return to South Adelaide, where he would win the 1991 Magarey Medal (after finishing as runner-up on two previous occasions).

Mark also enjoyed a successful State career. He was selected to the South Australian State Team for the first time in 1981 and made 16 State of Origin appearances between 1981-89 and 1991-92 , winning the Tassie Medal in the 1987 National Carnival and the Fos Williams Medal as South Australia's best player in 1991. He was awarded All-Australian selection in 1986 and 1987.

Mark retired in 1993 after 236 appearances (231 goals) for the Panthers, 67 for Carlton (74) and 16 for South Australia.

He is also a Life Member, Hall of Fame Inductee of South Adelaide Football Club and Member of the "Greatest Team Ever", as well as an inaugural inductee of the South Australian Football Hall of Fame.

Our thoughts are with wife Cassie, children Hannah and Sam, step-daughter Rose and grandson Finn, during this difficult time.

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