The sardonic star of The Footy Show suggests he only got a run on debut because a noisy spectator - a former schoolmate of his - wore down Cats coach Bob Davis with persistent demands.
This is just one of the ruck great's recollections of his first game, captured in an interview with AFL Media at Brunswick Street Oval, the scene of Newman's debut against Fitzroy in round three, 1964.
The 68-year-old quips that he is in good company when it comes to golden anniversaries, with The Beatles "invasion" also taking place in 1964. Newman even attended a Beatles concert in Melbourne just a month after his debut.
He recalls his path to the Cats from Geelong Grammar, along with the origin of his nickname 'Sam', bestowed upon him by his coach Bob Davis.
Newman describes his debut - the first of his 300 games - as “a very crude and rude awakening” to League football for an 18-year-old, and reveals he was immediately fearful of a man-mountain opponent.
He also names the player he thinks is the best of all the time (check out the video).
AFL Media also caught up with two of Newman's teammates from that day: fellow debutant Kevin Kirkpatrick (who played just one more game) and fellow benchwarmer Ian Scott.
Read the full interview in the round three edition of the AFL Record, available at all grounds. And watch the video on AFL.com.au.
John 'Sam' Newman at the Brunswick Street Oval, the scene of his debut VFL game. Picture: AFL Media