Neil Chandler’s time at St Kilda was only brief, but he came to the club with an enviable record.
Neil, who passed away on June 24 at the age of 73, was a member of three premiership teams at Carlton during his 76 games.
The first of those flags came in 1968 as a 19-year-old selected on the bench in the win over Essendon. Two years later he was also on the bench, coming on in the closing five minutes in the epic Grand Final win over Collingwood. Then in 1972, he was in the starting line-up for Carlton and kicked one of the Blues’ goals in the 28-goal Grand Final avalanche.
He missed a spot for the 1973 play-off which Carlton lost to Richmond and early in 1974 was in and out of the side during the opening weeks. He felt that the club was losing its way in 1974 and with the influx of many players from Carlton’s Bendigo zone it meant that his chances would be limited. He then surprised the Blues by asking for a clearance to St Kilda.
In later years, he recalled that a Saints recruiter offered him $300 a game.
The strongly built ruck-rover and half-forward played six games for St Kilda in 1974, but was always keen on returning to the family farm at Welshpool. He coached Welshpool for three years and later on, in the 1990s, was coach of the inter-league side for three seasons.