JIM DEANE was South Australian football royalty and arguably the greatest player to come out of the South Adelaide Football Club.
A tough centreman who was as hard as nails and an accurate kick on both feet, Deane was a six-time best and fairest at South between 1948 and 1957.
He was a dual Magarey Medallist and and represented South Australia 14 times.
Deane took his talents across the border, playing 33 games for Richmond in the VFL between 1954-55.
After leaving South Adelaide for a second time, he accepted a lucrative position with Myrtleford in the Ovens and Murray Football League from 1958-62 – twice winning the Morris Medal as the League best and fairest - before finishing his illustrious playing career in Port Pirie.
It was there, playing in the Spencer Gulf Football League for Ports, that Deane finally captured the one thing that had eluded him throughout his playing days – a premiership.
He later went back to coach South Adelaide for a second time from 1970-71, having spent three seasons as captain-coach from 1951-53.
Deane's involvement and love of football continued long after he stopped playing and coaching.
He spent more than 20 years commentating on games for the ABC on television and radio, and was behind the microphone when the Adelaide Crows entered the AFL in 1991.
Deane's son Michael said his dad – who passed away in 2010 at the age of 82 – would have been thrilled to have been inducted into the Australian Football Hall of Fame.
|Clubs||South Adelaide (1945-53; 1956-57), Richmond (1954-55)|
|Born||January 2, 1928|
|Games played||190 (157 for South Adelaide, 33 for Richmond)|
|Goals||112 (95 for South Adelaide, 17 for Richmond)|
|Player honours||Two-time Magarey medallist (1953, 1957), Six-time South Adelaide best and fairest (1948-49, 1951, 1953, 1956-57), South Adelaide captain (1951-53; 1956-57), 14 State-of-Origin games for South Australia|
|Coaching career||Playing coach, South Adelaide (1951-53), Non-playing coach, South Adelaide (1970-71)|
"We're all really pleased," Michael Deane said.
"It's a pity he's not still alive because he would've been absolutely rapt to be in it.
"Football was a big part of his life and as a consequence, a big part of ours."
Deane made his senior debut for South Adelaide aged just 17 in 1945.
Three years later, he claimed his first best and fairest at the age of 20, before going back-to-back the following season in 1949.
At 23, Deane was appointed captain/coach of South and won his third Knuckey Cup as the club's best and fairest.
He remained captain/coach for two more seasons, including his final year at South in 1953 when he won his first Magarey Medal.
It was an incredible feat considering South won just five of their 18 games that season and finished on the bottom of the ladder.
Deane met Richmond great Jack Dyer when he was very young and wanted to play for the Tigers during his career.
He had trouble obtaining a clearance, but was finally permitted to play for Richmond, spending two years with the Tigers before returning to South Adelaide in 1956.
Deane captained the club for two more years – winning the best and fairest both times – and collected his second Magarey Medal in 1957.
Just as important to him, especially with the lack of team success at club level, was his time representing South Australia.
Deane played as a half-forward flanker for the state team while also changing in the centre.
He was renowned for his stab passing. The ball travelled faster in the air than a drop punt.
When he played for Myrtleford, Deane would show off his skills at the Wangaratta Show every year with former Collingwood champion Bob Rose, with a competition to see who would miss a star picket first.
Deane came from humble beginnings.
He left school early to work various labouring jobs at the East End markets and fruit picking in the Riverland before joining the fire brigade when he started playing football.
Deane used his earnings from playing at Myrtleford to open a shoe business, but he became well known as a publican in several Adelaide pubs, including the Queen's Head in North Adelaide, the Norwood Hotel, the Finsbury and the Franklin Hotel.
Deane loved a beer and a chat with anyone who walked into one of his pubs.
He was inducted into the South Australian Football Hall of Fame in 2002.
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