Was Cowboy Neale Death Unexpected? Reflecting on AFL Legend Kevin Neale Passing at Age 78


On September 17, 2023, the world of Australian Football League (AFL) was shaken by the news of Kevin “Cowboy” Neale’s passing at the ripe age of 78. Recognized as one of the most significant legends of the AFL, Neale left a legacy that will be remembered for generations.

  1. Summary of cowboy neale death
  2. The Life and Legacy of Kevin “Cowboy” Neale
  3. Battle with Alzheimer’s Disease
  4. The News of His Passing
  5. St Kilda’s Tribute
  6. Remembering an AFL Legend
  7. Conclusion

In recent news, the topic “cowboy neale death” has been making the rounds. For those familiar with AFL, Kevin Neale’s name evokes a myriad of emotions. Passing away on September 17, 2023, at the age of 78, Neale’s absence has left a void in the AFL community.

Summary of cowboy neale death

Date Event Summary
1944 Birth Kevin Neale is born in Melbourne, Australia.
1963 Debut Neale makes his senior debut for St Kilda.
1966 Achievement Neale’s pivotal role in St Kilda’s premiership win, kicking five goals.
1978 Retirement Neale retires after 256 games for St Kilda.
1996 Recognition Induction into the AFL Hall of Fame and Team of the Century.
2018 Diagnosis Neale is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.
2023 Passing Neale passes away at age 78.

The Life and Legacy of Kevin “Cowboy” Neale

The nickname “Cowboy” wasn’t just a label but a reflection of Neale’s crash-or-crash-through playing style. His pivotal role in St Kilda’s 1966 VFL premiership victory is still discussed today, proving his lasting influence on the sport.

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Neale’s unique approach to the game, characterized by his fearlessness, made him stand out. His relentless dedication ensured his position in St Kilda, shaping many victories for the team.

Battle with Alzheimer’s Disease

In 2018, a shadow was cast on Neale’s life when he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. This debilitating condition gradually affected his health, and yet, Neale showed immense strength throughout his battle.

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The News of His Passing

The “cowboy neale death” announcement plunged the AFL community into sadness. Many from the community, including former teammates and fans, took a moment to appreciate his vast contributions to the sport, underscoring his unparalleled bravery both on and off the field.

St Kilda’s Tribute

As expected, St Kilda went to great lengths to honor Neale’s memory. A poignant moment was witnessed during the Round 20 match against Collingwood, where a minute’s silence was observed. In a heartfelt gesture, the club donated $100,000 to the Alzheimer’s Society of Australia in memory of Neale.

Remembering an AFL Legend

Beyond his accomplishments and records, Kevin “Cowboy” Neale stood as an embodiment of dedication and passion. His recognition in the AFL Team of the Century in 1996 confirms his place in AFL history.


Kevin “Cowboy” Neale’s journey, from his illustrious career to his brave battle with Alzheimer’s, paints the picture of a true legend. His passing is undoubtedly a great loss, but his legacy as an AFL luminary will continue to inspire.

1. When did Kevin “Cowboy” Neale pass away?
He passed away on September 17, 2023.

2. Why was he known as “Cowboy”?
His nickname mirrored his crash-or-crash-through approach to the game.

3. How did St Kilda honor Neale’s memory?
St Kilda held a minute’s silence before their Round 20 match and donated to the Alzheimer’s Society of Australia in his name.

4. How many games did Neale play for St Kilda?
He played a total of 256 games for St Kilda.

— by Yuvraj Paul