Educated at Rostrevor College, Kevin Ignatius O'Neill had been an outstanding junior sportsman, excelling in cricket and football, before joining Norwood. Amazingly, he played six years (1933-1938) of 1st eighteen football for the school, being named captain for the last three. He was awarded the Gosse Medal in 1938 for the best player in the schools competition. The umpires voted him best on ground in 10 out of the 11 games played.
O'Neill was named at centre half forward in his League debut against South Adelaide. In a high scoring match, the Redlegs ran out winners 20.21 to 16.14.
An aggressive footballer, he played forward and back in his first year, winning the team's best utility award.
O'Neill was restricted to eight games in 1940, and despite being one of a group of players to receive a "Services Rendered" award, he asked for a transfer to South Adelaide in 1941.
His debut for South Adelaide was delayed however, as O'Neill then served in the 13th Regiment after the outbreak of World War II. It wasn't until July 1946 that he played his first senior game for South, against Norwood, as a centre-half forward. He played another five league matches for his new club, all at centre half forward.
A fine cricketer, O'Neill played with the Kensington Cricket Club with distinction, as well as representing the State on 18 occasions as a fast-medium bowler.
R Cialini Aug 2014