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State funeral in SA for Neil Kerley

Australian Football Hall of Fame member Neil Kerley will be honoured with a state funeral in South Australia after his death in a car crash.

Premier Peter Malinauskas said he had spoken with the Kerley family and they had accepted the government’s offer of a state funeral to celebrate his life.

“This state funeral will be an opportunity for the South Australian community to pay tribute to Neil, reflecting on his legacy and contribution to our state,” the premier said.

Details of the funeral will be released in coming days.

Kerley, 88, made his mark on Australia’s home-grown football code as an outstanding player, coach, administrator and media figure.

Affectionately nicknamed “Knuckles”, he played 276 games for West Adelaide, South Adelaide and Glenelg, and represented his state 32 times.

He also coached five SANFL clubs to a total of four premierships.

When the Adelaide Crows entered the AFL in 1991, Kerley was appointed their inaugural football manager as a key support figure to first-year coach Graham Cornes.

Kerley died on Wednesday afternoon in a car accident in the Murraylands region of SA.

He is survived by his wife Barb and family.

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