Neil Beagley played 220 games with the Club from 1965 to 1979, with a three year break from 1972 to 1974 whilst overseas. As a player in his early days with the Club, Neil had played in Premierships with the A3’s in 1965 and A1’s in 1968 and 1969. Neil was a pacy wingman with good football skills. He won the Best Team Man trophy in A1 in 1969.
Neil remained with ‘the Blacks’ as a graduate in 1970 – the unwritten understanding at this time was that graduates coached teams in the lower grades. Neil did this for several seasons, initially the A3’s in 1970 and later the A3 Reserves between 1977 and 1979. In the intervening years Neil provided great support to colleague Geoff Harcourt with the A3 Reserves. Neil’s outgoing personality and experience in football was an ideal introduction to young players into ‘the Blacks’ culture.
As well as being an A1 Premiership player, ‘Beags’ was always very Club spirited and from 1967 to 1969 was on the Management Committee. Even whilst coaching, he took on the Deputy Chairman’s role in 1978 and 1979. In this latter year Neil was awarded the Outstanding Service trophy.
His background and commitment to the Club established Neil as the ideal choice for the President’s position in 1981, a position he filled admirably until 1984.
Along with Dr Fred Bloch, Neil was the co-founder of the J.T. Goose Memorial Trophy and has continued to sponsor that award.
Neil is one of the few people to be involved at all levels of the Club and his energy and humour made him an invaluable asset for ‘the Blacks’. Neil Beagley was elected an Honorary Life Member in 1983.