The West

Club mourns loss
Former Mt Barker coach Merv Neagle.

Mt Barker Football Club is mourning the loss of its only premiership coach Merv Neagle after he was tragically killed in a truck crash last Thursday.

The 1984 AFL premiership player and Essendon veteran of 147 games was killed in Griffith, NSW, not far from his long-term home of Walla Walla.

Neagle led North Mt Barker to a Great Southern Football League flag in 1996 during his three-year reign at the club that finished at the end of 1997.

Then-Bulls player Matt Taylor said Neagle was a “true legend”.

“He was just something that we’ve never had at the club or seen, being a high profile AFL player,” Taylor said.

“He was outstanding and what he brought to the club – he wasn’t just a great coach – he had the club and the whole town up and thriving.”

Neagle’s success at Mt Barker led him back to the town on two more occasions, taking the Bulls to a grand final in 1999 against Royals and coaching the club once more a decade later.

The club will pay tribute to him at their 2012 awards night on September 15.

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