Sam Newman

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Sam Newman
Personal information
Full name John Noel William Newman
Date of birth (1945-12-22) 22 December 1945 (age 69)
Place of birth Geelong, Victoria, Australia
Original team Geelong Grammar School
Height/Weight 189 cm / 94 kg[1][2][3]
Position(s) Ruckman
Playing career1
Years Club Games (Goals)
1964–1980 Geelong 300 (110)
1 Playing statistics correct to end of 1980 season.
Career highlights

John Noel William 'Sam' Newman[4] (born 22 December 1945) is a retired Australian rules football player for the Geelong Football Club and television personality. He is an original presenter on the The Footy Show (AFL).

Early life and football career[edit]

Newman attended Geelong Grammar School, where his father was a teacher.[5][6] He made his debut for Geelong in 1964 when he was 18 years old.[7] Early in his time at Geelong he acquired the nickname "Sam", by which he is now well known.[8]

During his career (1964-80) with Geelong, he captained the club. He also won two best and fairest awards (1968 and 1975). During the first semi-final against Collingwood in 1967, Newman suffered a serious injury which forced surgeons to remove part of his kidney. He was also selected as an All-Australian player in 1969. He played for the Victorian State team eight times. Newman retired in 1980, having polled 100 Brownlow Medal votes throughout his career. In 2002, he was inducted into the Australian Football Hall of Fame.[9]

In December 2005, Newman was appointed as ruck coach for the Melbourne Football Club to mentor players such as Jeff White, Mark Jamar and Paul Johnson.

On 6 July 2010, Newman played in a charity match playing for Victoria in the annual EJ Whitten Legends Game. Newman kicked four goals from four kicks and three marks to be named best on ground, despite his team losing to the All Stars by seven points.

Media career[edit]

Newman joined radio station 3AW as a football commentator in 1981 and continued with the station through until the end of the 1999 season, he also appeared on World of Sport on Channel 7 for seven years from 1981-1987.

Newman has been on the The Footy Show (AFL) since it first aired in 1994 on the Australian Nine Network.

His other media appearances have included the Sunday sports show Any Given Sunday in 2005, World of Sport, The Sunday Footy Show and also co-hosting the short lived Sam and The Fatman with Paul "Fatty" Vautin. On radio station Triple M, Newman previews Friday night and Saturday afternoon matches. He formerly provided special comments during AFL games on Triple M, as well as 3AW previously.

From April 2010, he was a part of the MTR (Melbourne Talk Radio) lineup, providing opinion and participating in talkback between 9.00 am and 9.30 am, during the Steve Price breakfast programme. Newman quit the station in January 2012, after the breakfast producer censored Newman's profanity.[10]


Newman has been involved in several incidents of public controversy.[8] Reports indicate that Newman is deliberately controversial, and that his on-air persona is nothing like his true self.[11] Particular incidents include:

  • 1997 – Newman's former girlfriend drove his own car into him outside his house, breaking his leg and an ankle.[12]
  • 1999 – On The Footy Show Newman blacked up his face to impersonate indigenous footballer Nicky Winmar, at a time when racial vilification charges were being levelled at some AFL players.[13]
  • 2005 – A female fan broke a window whilst trying to break into his Brighton house.[12]
  • 2008 – Mocking television personality and The Age newspaper writer Caroline Wilson regarding how she was dressed on Footy Classified three days earlier by bringing a mannequin model onto stage and stapling a cardboard cut-out of Wilson on the face of the model and "experimenting" with different outfits. Newman then moved the model about.[14] Wilson brought the issue up on Footy Classified on the following week's episode, speaking of her disappointment to Garry Lyon, Newman's co-presenter on The Footy Show.[15]
  • 2009 – The Nine Network and Newman were sued for defamation by a female board member of the Western Bulldogs football team after he said on air that she was a "liar" and "hypocrite". They settled for $220,000 plus costs.[16]
  • 2009 – 17 September. During the Footy Show broadcast Newman likened a Malaysian man to a monkey, being "not long out of the forest". The Australian Communications and Media Authority ruled Newman was likely to have "provoked severe ridicule on the basis of the man's colour and race". Newman's employer, Channel Nine, offered to donate $200,000 to charity in the event of any future code breach and had "agreed to a number of other provisions in the enforceable undertaking, including significant senior management overview of the materials to be used by Mr Newman and a broad-ranging reporting regime and training obligation".[17]
  • 2010 – 30 June. Newman was criticised for disrespect to Aboriginal beliefs when he revealed on a radio show that he had hit a golf ball off the summit of Uluru.[18]
  • 2012 – 4 May. Newman caused controversy by pretending to smoke a bong on The Footy Show.[19]
  • 2014 - 14th May. Newman described NFL draftee Michael Sam kissing his boyfriend as an "annoyingly gratuitous act"[20]
  • 2014 - 7 August. Newman exposed his genitals to a national television audience and the live Adelaide studio audience during a sketch on The Footy Show [21]

Personal life[edit]

He has been married three times and has three sons. The two older boys are from one of his marriages, and his younger son was born during a seven-year relationship.[9] Newman lives in Docklands, Melbourne.[22][9]

Newman in 2002 released a compilation album entitled I Do My Best Work After Midnight, consisting of 13 selections from other artists, as well as two songs sung by Newman himself – "Witchcraft" and "I've Got You Under My Skin".[23]

On 5 March 2008 it was revealed that Newman was in hospital, undergoing treatment for prostate cancer.[24][25] Newman allowed the Channel Nine's program 60 Minutes to film his operation.[26] It contained footage filmed earlier that day in which Newman's urologist told him that the operation had been a success and that he had been cleared of the cancer.[27]


  1. ^ Australian Football - Sam Newman
  2. ^ AFL Tables - Sam Newman - Stats - Statistics
  3. ^ Herald Sun - The modern ruckman must be over 200cm tall to compete in Land of the Giants
  4. ^ Herald Sun - Sam Newman's year of living dangerously
  5. ^ Geelong Grammar teacher reflects on career | ABC 7:30 Report Transcript
  6. ^ "The Newman Club". Geelong Grammar School. Retrieved 2014-09-26. 
  7. ^ AFL - It's 50 years of footy with Geelong great and TV personality John 'Sam' Newman
  8. ^ a b "The Trouble With Sam". Australian Story. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 2014-09-26. 
  9. ^ a b c Wham, bam, thankyou Sam!, The Advertiser, 20 March 2009
  10. ^ Drill, Stephen (25 January 2012). "Sam Newman quits troubled station MTR over use of F-word on air". Herald Sun. Retrieved 25 January 2012. 
  11. ^ Hewitt, Sue (1 June 2008). "Eddie McGuire's plea to Sam Newman". Sunday Herald Sun. 
  12. ^ a b Newman's 'aggressive' female wake-up call – National –
  13. ^ "Sports Factor – Indigenous All Stars". ABC. 18 February 2005. Retrieved 2009-08-18. 
  14. ^ "Round 3 Preview". The Footy Show. Season 15. Episode 4. 2008-04-03. 
  15. ^ "Round 3 Review". Footy Classified. Season 3. Episode 4. 2008-04-07. 
  16. ^ "Defamation costs Channel Nine, Footy Show's Sam Newman $200K". AAP. 16 November 2009. 
  17. ^ Kellett, Christine (7 September 2010). "Newman's 'monkey' gibe costs Nine 200 gorillas". Melbourne. The Age. 
  18. ^ "Rock rage rolls on". Northern Territory News. 30 June 2010. 
  19. ^ "Sam Newman smokes bong on The Footy Show". Herald Sun. 4 May 2012. Retrieved 25 August 2012. 
  20. ^ "Michael Sam's kiss "annoying gratuitous': Sam Newman". The Age. 15 May 2014. Retrieved 8 August 2014. 
  21. ^ "Sam Newman exposes himself on The Footy Show". The Age. 8 August 2014. 
  22. ^ Herald Sun article on Sam getting a helmet fine
  23. ^
  24. ^ Collier, Karen (5 March 2008). "Sam Newman has prostate cancer". Herald Sun. 
  25. ^ Sam Newman diagnosed with cancer
  26. ^ "Two of us". The Sydney Morning Herald. 19 April 2014. 
  27. ^ Evans, Chris (10 March 2008). "Newman clear but urges cancer tests". The Age. p. 6. 

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