HALL OF FAME - Button, Neil

Neil Button

(1971 - 1985)

Neil Button was recruited from Ramblers/Murray Bridge in 1970, and made his league debut the following year. Powerfully built and strong overhead, it was also Button's clever use of his body that allowed him to compete against much taller ruckmen.
A Kings Cup rower in 1971, he also represented the 1972 Australian "All-stars" football team that played matches against Carlton in London, Athens and Singapore.    
"The Bear", as he was known, was a consistent performer throughout his career, and at his best in the big games. His marking around the ground, accurate hit outs and general ruckwork were never more evident than in the Redlegs 1975 and 1978 Grand Final victories.
Button was also high in the best players when Norwood annihilated Carlton in a Wills Cup match at Norwood in 1976 : 22.14 to 5.10.

In 1977 he was again dominant in the ruck, as Norwood defeated East Perth, to take out the Ardath Cup (night series).
He was appointed vice captain in 1978 and 1979 but a serious knee injury in the opening round of the 1980 Escort Cup series resulted in Button missing the remainder of that season.

After returning from injury, he played more as a centre half forward and was named in that position when the Redlegs
defeated Glenelg in the 1982 premiership decider. 

Button played his 200th senior game in July 1981, against West Torrens at Football Park. He missed out on Norwood's 1984 "history-making" premiership, due to injury.
In 1985, Button became Norwood's longest serving player, breaking Roger Woodcock's record of 267 games. He was also the recipient of the 1985 E.A. Johnson Service Award.
Having given the club wonderful service, Neil Button announced his retirement at the 1985 presentation night. He had been runner-up to the Club Champion award in 1972,1978 and 1979, and represented the State on nine occasions, making his interstate debut in only his second season of senior football.

Neil Button was later named at centre half forward in Norwood’s Team of the Century and in 2006 was one of the inaugural inductees to the Club's Hall of Fame

Games: 283
Goals: 163
Premierships: 1975, 1978, 1982
Further honours: Norwood Player Life Member, Norwood Team of the Century, NFL Champions of Australia Night Competition 1977, NFL All Stars 1972, SA games 9.

R Cialini Nov 2016

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