John Noel William "Sam" Newman (born 22 December 1945 in Geelong, Victoria) is a retired Australian rules football player and current television personality. He is a featured star of the AFL version of The Footy Show.
Newman's entire VFL/AFL
playing career was spent at Geelong
. He played his first senior game for the club in 1964, having been recruited while still at Geelong Grammar School
. Being a tall man, in his first four seasons he played with acknowledged ruck master Graham 'Polly' Farmer
As a player, Newman quickly distinguished himself because of his prodigious athletic skills and the wide range of positions that he could play in an era when players tended to specialise to a great degree.
In the 1967 finals series he suffered a serious kidney injury in the first semi-final, and as a result missed the Grand Final, which Geelong lost to Richmond. He had part of one kidney removed, but returned to play the next season and win Geelong's Best and Fairest award.
During his 17 season career he played 300 games, primarily as ruckman. He played 41 games as Geelong captain before he was sacked from the job in a dispute with the club, and threatened to transfer to Richmond.
He twice won club Best and Fairest (1968 and 1975), was selected All-Australian (1969), and played for the Victorian state team 8 times. He retired in 1980, having polled 100 Brownlow Medal
votes throughout his career. In 2002, he was inducted into the Australian Football Hall of Fame
and has also been honoured as a "Legend of the Geelong Football Club".
In December 2005, Newman was appointed as ruck coach for the Melbourne Football Club to mentor players such as Jeff White, Mark Jamar and Paul Johnson.
Newman is a regular on the AFL
version of The Footy Show
on the Australian Nine Network
. He acts as sidekick
and resident clown, and frequently stirs up controversy.
He regularly hosts "Street Talk", a vox populi segment in which he interviews people on the streets, usually in Melbourne. His interviews often contain sexual innuendo (especially when interviewing women) and mocking of the interviewees, including those with obvious intellectual disability, physical disability or people whose first language is not English. Also, Newman is known for his continual defence of the Nine Network, and often takes the opportunity to mock the coverage from Channel Seven and Network Ten, given they own the television rights for the AFL.
His other media appearances have included the Sunday sports show Any Given Sunday in 2005, and also co-hosting Sam and The Fatman
On radio station Triple M, Newman previews Friday night and Saturday afternoon matches. He formerly provided special comments during AFL games, but on 8 May 2006, was suspended indefinitely from those duties for telling a talkback caller that he was a "fuckwit" after the Round 6 match between the Western Bulldogs and St Kilda.
Two weeks earlier, he walked out on a broadcast midway through a round 4 clash between the Western Bulldogs and Geelong, having expressed disgust at the style of football being played and the perceived quality of umpiring.
Tabloid celebrity & personal life
Newman has been married three times and has also been linked to a number of other women:
- Australian model Imogen Bailey, but the two have refused comment to such rumours.
- Pamela Anderson, who is apparently 'just a good friend', although Newman erected a large image of her on the front exterior glass wall of his Melbourne home without obtaining council permission. However, he was later allowed to keep the artwork when permits were issued. The building later won architectural awards and is renowned as a St Kilda landmark.
- Jo Hall from Channel Nine.
Other reported incidents include:
- having his nose broken in a fight with an ex-girlfriend's new boyfriend.
- having a female fan break a window whilst trying to break in to his Brighton house.
- being ejected from Perth's Burswood Casino for being drunk.
- In 1997 his leg was broken after it was run over by Leonie Jones, a woman 26 years his junior (who was pregnant with the youngest of Sam's three children, Max) eight days after he had clashed with another pregnant woman in a Brighton supermarket. Jones said in an interview with New Idea magazine that Newman had not bothered to see Max until three weeks after he was born.
In 2004, Newman was reported to have had plastic surgery, most noticeably a facelift.
In 2005, he bought a Lamborghini Murciélago.
On 5 March 2008 it was revealed that Sam Newman was in hospital, undergoing treatment for prostate cancer
. On 6 March he underwent a procedure at Epworth Hospital
in Melbourne to have the cancerous prostate removed. Sam asked that television cameras from Channel Nine's program 60 Minutes
have full access to the procedure, as he believed it could help raise awareness of the issue amongst the greater public. Channel Nine personality and close friend Eddie McGuire
covered the story for the program.
The program went to air on Sunday, 9 March. It contained footage filmed earlier that day in which Sam's urologist, Dr Laurence Harewood, told him that the operation had been a success and that he had been cleared of the cancer. Sam is now expected to make a full recovery.