AAMI Footy Flashback – 1964 SANFL Grand Final

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It is the game which still provides South Adelaide fans with hope, some 56 years later.

The 1964 SANFL Grand Final not only saw the Panthers claim their first premiership since 1938 but become the first team to rise from bottom to top in the space of 12 months.

And victory was made sweeter given it was against a dominant Port Adelaide outfit which had won the past two flags in 1962 and 1963 as well as six in succession from 1954 to 1959.

No wonder the blue-and-white faithful were so eager to chair first-year captain-coach Neil Kerley off Adelaide Oval in the wake of South’s fairytale feat, which wasn’t matched until North Adelaide did the same in 2018.

Despite the Magpies kicking with the aid of a breeze to the northern end in the first term, they could only manage five behinds as South’s Lindsay Backman booted the first goal of the game with a classic crumb and snap from close range.

Port’s woes continued as the favourites didn’t kick truly until Eric Freeman snapped a goal six minutes into the third term after having just 10 behinds on the scoreboard at half-time.

Amazingly, South flirted with its lead to the extent the Pies got within just 13 points when Freeman kicked another eight minutes into the last quarter.

But with Kerley crashing the packs, Peter Darley leading the ruck in tandem with the athletic David Kantilla, the Panthers were able to taste rare success in front of a massive crowd of 56, 353.

1964 SANFL Grand Final

Saturday October 3

South  2.5  5.6  7.10  9.15 (69)

Port  0.5  0.10  4.12  5.12 (42)

Umpire – Ken Cunningham

Crowd – 56,353 at Adelaide Oval

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