Roberts played with St Kilda on the forward line initially but later excelled as a centre half back, winning the Brownlow Medal in 1958. Captained the side from 1959 to 1962 before retiring at 29 years of age and commencing a career in sports journalism. Inducted to the Saints inaugural Hall of Fame in 2003.
His son, Michael Roberts also played for the Saints and is now a sports broadcaster.
Neil Roberts was officer in charge of Mawson base, Antarctica 1971–1973. Now retired to farming.