Marlow Dare KEELAN


Guernsey Number: 19, 26
Career: 1934 to 1939
NFC Games: 13
NFC Goals: 1
Debut: v South Adelaide (Norwood) 23rd June 1934
Finale: v West Torrens (Adelaide) 9th September 1939


Marlow Keelan was born at Evandale on the 16th May 1911 and joined Norwood in 1933 when the ruckman/follower played a number of games for the association (reserves) side. He had a successful year and tied with Ellis Saxon for the association’s “fairest and most consistent player “ award.

In 1934 he featured in the club’s pre-season trial games but continued with the association side until he made his league debut against South Adelaide on 23rd June.  

Keelan played two league games in 1934 but was also selected in a combined “National Football Association” side against a Port Pirie Association team in Port Pirie on 2nd June and was also named in a Norwood side that played Port Pirie on the 9th July. His travels continued in September as a member of a Norwood association team that played against a River Murray Association team in Murray Bridge.

In 1935 Keelan played with Payneham Football Club in the amateur league and for the remainder of his career would alternate between the association team and Payneham when not called upon for occasional ruck duties for the Norwood league team. 

1936 saw Keelan back with the association side apart from two senior games in August against North Adelaide at Prospect and the following week against Port Adelaide at Norwood.

His most successful season was 1937 when he played seven league games and was a member of the association premiership team which defeated Port Adelaide in the Grand Final: 10.15 to 9.7. The following week he was recalled to the senior team for the preliminary final which Norwood lost to South Adelaide, 18.17 to 15.11.

After playing in one pre-season trial for Norwood in 1938, Keelan returned to Payneham and was a member of the A2 amateur team which defeated Railways Institute in the Grand Final.

He was back at The Parade in 1939 with the association side but did play two league games including the first semi-final, resulting in a four point loss to West Torrens. This proved to be his final appearance in the red and blue colours. Unfortunately his semi-final appearance denied him a place in the association Grand Final in which Norwood defeated West Adelaide by 20 points to win its third successive premiership.

In 1940 Keelan returned to Payneham and took part on a patriotic game against Wallaroo in September 1940.

Marlow Keelan enlisted in the Australian Army in 1943 and served as a signalman until he was discharged in 1944. He passed away on the 23rd November 1995

W Heading Nov 2021


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