Full Name: NEIL BALME
Date of Birth: 15/01/1952
Height: 194 cm ( 6-4 1/2 )
Weight: 96 kg ( 15-0 )
Debut: 15/08/1970 , Round 20 , North Melbourne
Last Game: 30/06/1979 , Round 13 , Carlton
Total Games: 159
Total Goals: 230
Honours: Premiership 1973-74 , Equal Leading Goalkicker 1972 Goals 55 , Leading Goalkicker 1973 Goals 34 , WA Representative Team Games 1.
Total Games: 38
Total Goals: 52
Neil was a rugged, strong-marking ruckman and forward-pocket who originally came to Richmond’s attention as a raw 17-year-old who had performed very well against the legendary “Polly” Farmer. That game was one of his first senior games in Subiaco, in Western Australia. He came to Richmond as a senior player but soon found himself in the Under/19 team completing his apprenticeship. He was a magnificent long torpedo punt kick and caused many worries for opposition defenders due to his strength and aggression. He was also a very talented player who kicked many goals from fine snap shots. He kicked 5 or more goals in a game on 10 occasions with his highest tally being 6 against Fitzroy in Round 20 of 1972 and North Melbourne in Round 14 of 1973. He also kicked 5 goals in finals games on two occasions the 1972 Grand Final and the 1973 Preliminary final. He was voted Richmond’s best player in the 1974 semi-final win over North Melbourne. Later in his career he was given a longer run in the ruck where he made the transition very successfully. He was a fine protector of his smaller teammates and he never came off second best in the physical tussles. A knee injury caused a permanent end to his VFL career.
He was vice captain in 1976, ran second in the Best and Fairest award in 1977 and was awarded Life Membership in 1979. A fine clubman, he was a very popular figure at Richmond during his 10 year stay. He was a member of the 1973 and 1974 Premiership sides as well as the 1972 Grand Final side.
Wembley Athletic U/14-U/16 ; Subiaco 1969
Norwood 1980-90 , Games 13 , Goals 22 ( Honours - Coach 1980-90 , Premiership 1982, 1984 ) ; SA Eagles Coach 1991-92 ; Melbourne Senior Coach 1993-96.