SANFL is mourning the passing of South Australian Football Hall of Fame member Robert Oatey OAM.
An inaugural inductee to the SA Football Hall of Fame in 2002, Oatey was also a long-serving SANFL employee, acting as the Coaching Coordinator and Affiliated Leagues Manager from 1995 to 2013.
The SANFL Player Life Member – who represented his State on nine occasions – was fittingly awarded his Order of Australia Medal in 2008 for his service to Australian Football as a coach and as a contributor to the development of younger players.
Named as a forward pocket in Norwood’s Team of the Century, Oatey played a total of 232 games and kicked 365 goals for the Redlegs between 1961 and 1973.
Oatey, who was 77, won Norwood’s best-and-fairest on four occasions while also being the club’s leading goal kicker from 1967 to 1969.
A Player Life Member for the Redlegs, he also captain-coached Norwood between 1968 and 1973.
In 1974, he crossed over to Sturt to play in a League premiership that year under his father Jack, who was the Double Blues’ coach.
He went on to play 69 games and kick 67 goals for the Double Blues before hanging up the boots at the end of 1978.
Off the field, Oatey – also a Sturt Life Member – then transitioned into being the club’s Technical and Development Officer from 1987 until 1994.
SANFL CEO Jake Parkinson said Oatey would be fondly remembered for his significant contribution to the League and South Australian football as a player, coach and employee of SANFL.
“Robert was admired by many and gave tremendous service to our game in South Australia,” Mr Parkinson said.
“On behalf of SANFL, we extend our deepest sympathies to the Oatey family at this sad time.”