Who Is Barbara Gordon? Neil Kerley Wife As Footballer Died In Car Crash

Donald Neil Kerley AM, simply known as Neil Kerley was a former Australian rules football player and coach. Kerley was best remembered for playing 32 state games for South Australia.

Likewise, over the period of three decades, he coached three clubs to four South Australian National Football League championships. 

Unfortunately, the veteran player lost his life today in a brutal car accident, leaving behind his family.

Neil Kerley’s Wife As Footballer Died In Car Crash

The football player, coach, and pundit, Neil Kerley, also referred to as “Knuckles” met an automobile accident in the Murraylands on January 29, 2022. 

The 88-year-old legend faced an accident at Walker Flat in the Murraylands as his car drove off the road and into a farm on Mallee Road at around 5:30 pm. As he was pulling a trailer, he slammed his vehicle through a fence and into a paddock, leading to his death.

The four-time champion coach was regarded as one of the biggest names in sports for which he was also admitted to the Australian Football Hall of Fame in the year 1997.

Growing up on a fruit block in Barmera, South Australi’s Riverland, Kerley started playing football at the age of 14. While in childhood, he was a Norwood supporter, and eventually, he left his home and rode north on his motorcycle for two years, working as a Jackeroo on cattle stations.


In 1952, after turning 18 years old, he was enlisted for National Service and was stationed at Adelaide Hill’s Woodside Barracks. Neil terminated his playing career in 1969 and turned into a full-time coach in 1970.

The man kept making name for himself as in 1970, he led the Tigers to the Grand Finale, where the team fell short to Sturt again, coached by Kerley’s former West Adelaide boss Jack Oatey and had recently won their sixth straight premiership.

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Barbara Gordon Age and Net Worth

Neil Kerley was the second son of his parents, Laurie and Lillian Kerley. When Neil was 11 years old, his father passed away at Adelaide’s Daw Park Repatriation General Hospital.

Having six children altogether, Neil’s mother struggled with living and raising them, eventually relocating to Adelaide later in life. She later passed away in 1992.

Kerley married Barbara Gordon, a local girl he met in 1955. The couple met while he was coaching North Whyalla and later got married in Whyalla’s St. Teresa’s Catholic Church on February 25, 1955.


Prior to his death, his net worth was estimated to be 1 million USD, however, the net worth of his wife is not known.

In a scenario recounted by Kerley in Jim Rosevear’s 2003 book Knuckles, he referred that his wife Barbara had picked up a few tips on Aussie football rules as she had spent more than 30 years cheering her husband’s teams.

Furthermore, with all these experiences, she was able to let Neil know about the events that occurred during practices and games that he had missed, which he really valued as a coach.

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Meet His Children And Family

With Barbara, Neil had three children, Donald Jr, Robyn, and Gail. In the sudden and sad death, he left his family who is mourning for him along with the whole South Australian football committee.

The SANFL legend famously coached and captained West Adelaide to the 1961 championship and guided South Adelaide from last place on the ladder to waving the flag in 1964.


Neil Kerley without a doubt will be regarded as one of the most prominent figures in sports after being inducted into the Australian Football Hall of Fame in 1997. Clearly, the news came as a shock to everyone and we wish light as Neil rests in peace.

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