Merv Keane

Ossie

Tiger Rookie
Apr 15, 2012
461
13
We have just recently discovered that the teacher who has taught my daughter in two years and my son in another year is Merv Keane's sister. My daughter did a project about the differences between the 1970's and today, and one of the areas was how footy had changed. We used the 1973 Premiership photo on the slideshow as one of the photos. When I asked my daughter how the presentation went, she said "Miss Keane looked at the footy Premiership photo and casually said that her brother Merv would be in that photo!" My daughter asked me if that meant Miss Keane knew someone famous, and I said yes, definitely famous in our household! His sister is unassuming just like Merv was as a player!

I was explaining to the kids what a great player Merv was. A Triple-Premiership player, Tigers Hall-of-Fame member, Tigers Team of the Century, 238 games. I remember Merv from the mid-70's onwards and recall him as an ultra-dependable half-back who was tough and rarely beaten. Great decision maker and kick of the footy, never flustered - cool, calm and collected. I remember his two thumping goals in the 1980 Grand Final. One of them to the City end seemed to go forever! He had 27 possessions and two goals in the Grand Final - not a bad day against the Pies!

The range of legends he played with was just amazing - a who's who of Tigers champs. My closest current day player to Merv I could come up with was Corey Enright from the Cats. I was wondering what memories fellow PRE's had of Merv.
 

This Is Anfield

Tiger Champion
Sep 25, 2013
3,202
3
Melbourne
Loved Merv - exactly the type of player that plays to a high standard, game after game, year after year & never got the kudo's he deserved.

Can see Vlas being very similar.
 

pahoffm

No one player is bigger than the club.
Mar 24, 2004
21,145
0
Yes, Merv was a very reliable player, who was often asked to play roles outside of the 'norm' expected.

As you said, " ... an ultra-dependable half-back who was tough and rarely beaten. Great decision maker and kick of the footy, never flustered - cool, calm and collected ...," although he played roles outside of this.

I remember Merv as another junior coming down from the country, Wycheproof, and developing through Richmond U19s, 2nds then seniors. Reckon he played in the 1971 U19 premiership side.

After the Tigers' defeat in the 1972 Grand Final, the Tiges' footy department looked to recast the defence and so opportunity came to Merv Keane, 20yo, 6'1", as a HBF, who was tall, fast and had excellent cool & calm footy skills. So, from a handful of games in 1972, Merv played a full season in 1973, including finals and the premiership.

The following year, in 1974, he was asked to move back a line and play as a small BP against some speedy resting rovers, which he accomplished successfully, playing in that back-to-back premiership too.

Merv always likes to tell the story about his first training session with the Tiges, and how he wasn't quite sure of how or where he was supposed to go, and how he ended up training on Gosch's paddock with the Melbourne footballers, before he realised he was with the wrong group.

Merv was a very consistent and dependable player, only having seasons interrupted in 1976 and 1981.

During the 1980 season, Merv was called up to play a new role. For most of the season, the Tiges had played 4 rotating rovers on the ball - Rowlings, Wiley, Bartlett & Weightman - but felt that they needed a tall strong-bodied defensive midfielder in finals, so they called on Merv to come out of defence to play that role, which he did exceptionally, and is what you alluded to in, "I remember his two thumping goals in the 1980 Grand Final. One of them to the City end seemed to go forever! He had 27 possessions and two goals in the Grand Final - not a bad day against the Pies!"

Merv played in the 1982 GF too. One particular memory of the game was at a crucial stage in the last quarter, when the Tiges were less than a goal down, and the impetus of the game was going for them. Landy was running out of defence, under pressure, but had no one to kick to. Merv was on the other side of the ground, calling for the ball. Unfortunately Landy, under pressure, grubbed the kick, which was intercepted by Carlton and resulted in a rebound goal for them, which changed the impetus of the game.

After retiring, Merv went over to SA to coach for a few seasons, then returning to coach both Essendon 2nds, though I recall that he may have also coached Richmond 2nds during Bartlett's tenure as senior coach, though I might be wrong there. Merv coached in the TAC and VFL too.

In 2005, Merv returned to Richmond to assist in recruiting, but the club could only afford one full time recruiter. Greg Miller chose Francis Jackson, so Merv went back to Essendon and is still a part of their footballing staff. Personally, I know that if Merv had his way, Melbourne's Nathan Jones would most likely have been Richmond's pick #8 in the 2005 ND.

All in all, Merv Keane played in one U19s premiership, 3 senior premierships, and is a Tiger Life Member and Legend, being well-deserved.

I still see Merv at TAC & U18 rep games and he always welcomes me with a greeting and handshake. As a footballer, Merv exemplified the tactic of playing 'straight ahead' football. As a person, Merv has always shown 'straight ahead' principles in life.

The comparison to Vlastuin is quite an apt one.
 

FredH

Tiger Rookie
Mar 21, 2013
345
0
This Is Anfield said:
Nice one Phantom :)
Good post Phantom. Brought back great memories. I must admit, Merv is not usually one of the first players that I think of from that era - but he should be.
 

5SKULL5

Yes!Yes!Yes!Yes!
Dec 20, 2004
703
6
Melbourne
One of my very early memories of Merv was the qualifying final V Carlton in 1973. He got beaten that day by a super impressive Craig Davis, but was still amongst our best. He later dominated Davis in the Grand Final to help get us the premiership.


Skull
 

Bullarto Tiger

Tiger Legend
Mar 17, 2012
8,168
1,006
Thanks for the post, Phanto.
Merv was one of my all-time favourite players in the 70s. I just loved his no-nonsense, dependable, direct and determined approach to footy. He was a great team player and one of the first picked each week.
Would love to see him return to Tigerland one day as he would bring much to the Club. He is a fine fella.
 

Chiang Mai Tiger

Time for some Tiger Payback
Jun 17, 2004
5,756
0
Thailand
Remember my brother telling me the story of Merv walking into his stationary store and my brother asked him about whether the Tiges should appoint Walls as coach. Merv's response was "Christ I hope not!"
 

Ossie

Tiger Rookie
Apr 15, 2012
461
13
This Is Anfield said:
Loved Merv - exactly the type of player that plays to a high standard, game after game, year after year & never got the kudo's he deserved.

Can see Vlas being very similar.
Thanks Kenny Dalgleish, I think Floss is a good current Tiger comparison to Merv. Let's hope his career turns out as well!
 

Ossie

Tiger Rookie
Apr 15, 2012
461
13
Phantom said:
Yes, Merv was a very reliable player, who was often asked to play roles outside of the 'norm' expected.

As you said, " ... an ultra-dependable half-back who was tough and rarely beaten. Great decision maker and kick of the footy, never flustered - cool, calm and collected ...," although he played roles outside of this.

I remember Merv as another junior coming down from the country, Wycheproof, and developing through Richmond U19s, 2nds then seniors. Reckon he played in the 1971 U19 premiership side.

After the Tigers' defeat in the 1972 Grand Final, the Tiges' footy department looked to recast the defence and so opportunity came to Merv Keane, 20yo, 6'1", as a HBF, who was tall, fast and had excellent cool & calm footy skills. So, from a handful of games in 1972, Merv played a full season in 1973, including finals and the premiership.

The following year, in 1974, he was asked to move back a line and play as a small BP against some speedy resting rovers, which he accomplished successfully, playing in that back-to-back premiership too.

Merv always likes to tell the story about his first training session with the Tiges, and how he wasn't quite sure of how or where he was supposed to go, and how he ended up training on Gosch's paddock with the Melbourne footballers, before he realised he was with the wrong group.

Merv was a very consistent and dependable player, only having seasons interrupted in 1976 and 1981.

During the 1980 season, Merv was called up to play a new role. For most of the season, the Tiges had played 4 rotating rovers on the ball - Rowlings, Wiley, Bartlett & Weightman - but felt that they needed a tall strong-bodied defensive midfielder in finals, so they called on Merv to come out of defence to play that role, which he did exceptionally, and is what you alluded to in, "I remember his two thumping goals in the 1980 Grand Final. One of them to the City end seemed to go forever! He had 27 possessions and two goals in the Grand Final - not a bad day against the Pies!"

Merv played in the 1982 GF too. One particular memory of the game was at a crucial stage in the last quarter, when the Tiges were less than a goal down, and the impetus of the game was going for them. Landy was running out of defence, under pressure, but had no one to kick to. Merv was on the other side of the ground, calling for the ball. Unfortunately Landy, under pressure, grubbed the kick, which was intercepted by Carlton and resulted in a rebound goal for them, which changed the impetus of the game.

After retiring, Merv went over to SA to coach for a few seasons, then returning to coach both Essendon 2nds, though I recall that he may have also coached Richmond 2nds during Bartlett's tenure as senior coach, though I might be wrong there. Merv coached in the TAC and VFL too.

In 2005, Merv returned to Richmond to assist in recruiting, but the club could only afford one full time recruiter. Greg Miller chose Francis Jackson, so Merv went back to Essendon and is still a part of their footballing staff. Personally, I know that if Merv had his way, Melbourne's Nathan Jones would most likely have been Richmond's pick #8 in the 2005 ND.

All in all, Merv Keane played in one U19s premiership, 3 senior premierships, and is a Tiger Life Member and Legend, being well-deserved.

I still see Merv at TAC & U18 rep games and he always welcomes me with a greeting and handshake. As a footballer, Merv exemplified the tactic of playing 'straight ahead' football. As a person, Merv has always shown 'straight ahead' principles in life.

The comparison to Vlastuin is quite an apt one.
Thanks Phants. Some great memories reading this. I have been thinking again about the amazing list of talent Merv played with, wow! I suspect there will be a few hints dropped to our teacher to invite Merv along to class for a speech, and I will make sure I pop along with a question or 50! If you go to around 5.20 of this clip, you will see the long goal that Merv kicked in the first quarter.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pVo0Qg-BtTc
 

toothless

Don't push me 'cos I'm close to the edge...
Aug 16, 2009
1,046
105
I was a regular customer of merv. Top bloke and very down to earth. Loves the tiges, at the time we were recruiting recycled duds and he couldn't see the sense in recruiting players who were deemed "depth" players such as Fletcher from Carlton
 

Ossie

Tiger Rookie
Apr 15, 2012
461
13
toothless said:
I was a regular customer of merv. Top bloke and very down to earth. Loves the tiges, at the time we were recruiting recycled duds and he couldn't see the sense in recruiting players who were deemed "depth" players such as Fletcher from Carlton
Thanks Toothless. Merv seems like a very astute footy person. Would love to see him back at Punt Road at some stage in the recruiting area, away from the Bummers!
 

Tigerhealer

I'm a llama!
Sep 7, 2003
64
9
I taped his knee for one of the legends games,
when I asked him how did the taping feel he replied " if you were around when I was playing I might have played a few more seasons "
made my day
great bloke