Sam Newman

John Noel William Newman[4] (born 22 December 1945) better known as Sam Newman, is an Australian media executive and radio and television personality. Originally famous for his contribution to Australian Football League as a player for the Geelong Football Club, he has come to be better known as a media personality with controversial views on certain topics.

Sam Newman
Personal information
Full name John Noel William Newman
Nickname(s) Sam
Date of birth (1945-12-22) 22 December 1945
Place of birth Geelong, Victoria
Original team(s) Geelong Grammar School
Height 189 cm (6 ft 2 in)[1][2][3]
Weight 94 kg (207 lb)[1]
Position(s) Ruckman
Playing career1
Years Club Games (Goals)
1964–1980 Geelong 300 (110)
Representative team honours
Years Team Games (Goals)
Victoria 8 (?)
1 Playing statistics correct to the end of 1980.
Career highlights
Sources: AFL Tables,

Early life

Newman attended Geelong Grammar School, where his father was a teacher.[5][6]

He made his debut for Geelong in 1964 when he was 18 years old.[7] Early in his time at Geelong he acquired the nickname "Sam", by which he is now well known.[8]

AFL football

During his career (1964–80) with Geelong he played 300 games and also captained the club and also won two best and fairest awards (1968 and 1975). During the first semi-final against Collingwood in 1967, Newman suffered a serious injury which forced surgeons to remove part of his kidney. He was also selected as an All-Australian player in 1969. He played for the Victorian state team eight 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.[9]

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.

On 6 July 2010, Newman played in a charity match playing for Victoria in the annual EJ Whitten Legends Game. Newman kicked four goals from four kicks and three marks to be named best on ground, despite his team losing to the All Stars by seven points.

Media career

Newman joined radio station 3AW as a football commentator in 1981 and continued with the station through until the end of the 1999 season, he also appeared on World of Sport on Channel 7 for seven years from 1981-1987. He was a panel member of The Sunday Footy Show from 1993-1998, and will again be a panel member from 2019.

Newman was on The Footy Show (AFL) from when it first aired in 1994 until 2018 on the Australian Nine Network.[10]

His other media appearances have included the Sunday sports show Any Given Sunday in 2005, World of Sport, The Sunday Footy Show and also co-hosting the short lived Sam and The Fatman with Paul "Fatty" Vautin. On radio station Triple M, Newman previews Friday night and Saturday afternoon matches. He formerly provided special comments during AFL games on Triple M, as well as 3AW previously.

From April 2010, he was a part of the MTR (Melbourne Talk Radio) lineup, providing opinion and participating in talkback between 9.00 am and 9.30 am, during the Steve Price breakfast programme. Newman quit the station in January 2012, after the breakfast producer censored Newman's profanity.[11]

In February 2018, he joined a podcast with former Herald Sun chief football writer Mike Sheahan and former St Kilda coach Grant Thomas entitled "Sam, Mike and Thomo". The podcast aired once weekly and covered all trending topics, with a sprinkling of AFL commentary. In March 2019 it was announced by Sam on social media that the podcast would not proceed due to him being perceived to be making fun of transgender people on a prior episode of the podcast.

In December 2018, Eddie McGuire announced that Newman has signed a new multi-year deal with Nine, however The Footy Show, of which Newman has been a part of with McGuire since the show started in March 1994, has been all but axed to be replaced by a completely new formatted football show in 2019, of which Newman may or may not be a part of. Newman and McGuire were meant to host 4 Footy Show "specials" in 2019, but upon it being announced in May 2019 that The Footy Show would no longer be aired this will not be the case. However Newman will re-join The Sunday Footy Show, of which he has not been a panel member since 1998.


Newman has regularly been a controversial figure during his media career, with many of his views considered racist, sexist and homophobic. Recent incidents included a bizarre attack on US soccer star Megan Rapione, saying she has “all the characteristics of a dog”,[12] responding to Jacinda Ardern's comments on the Mosque massacre with an extended critique of the New Zealand accent, and allegedly assaulting skateboarders.[8][13][14][15][16] In late 2019, he referred to sixteen-year-old climate activist Greta Thunberg an "annoying little brat" and a "shit" in a tweet,[17][18] following her address to the United Nations Climate Summit in September 2019.[19] He is considered deliberately controversial.[10][20] Most notably Newman, Garry Lyon and Channel Nine were sued for defamation. Channel Nine removed Newman from The Footy Show for several weeks.[21][22][23]


Sam Newman enjoyed a brief career in motor racing. He began racing in 1998 in Class C of the Australian GT Production Car Championship where he finished in 10th place in a Ford EL Falcon XR8. In the 1999 Australian GT Production Car Championship he raced a Holden Vectra GL to 3rd place in Class D driving for Gibson Motorsport. He then went on to finish in 4th place in Class D at the 1999 Poolrite GTP Bathurst Showroom Showdown driving with Melinda Price. He then drove the Vectra to 5th place in Class E in the 2000 Australian GT Production Car Championship. He also raced a V8 Supercar at the support races at the Australian Grand Prix in the same year. Running a Gibson Motorsport prepared VS Commodore, he finished 25th, 24th and 23rd in the three races across the weekend.

In 2001, Newman raced a Ferrari 360 Challenge for Prancing Horse Racing as teammate to multiple Australian champion (in various categories) and Bathurst 1000 winner John Bowe in the 2001 Australian Nations Cup Championship finishing in 14th place. In the 2002 Championship, Newman acquitted himself well and improved to finish 10th in the series

Newman's brightest moment in motor racing was when he put his Ferrari on pole position for the 2002 Sandown 500.[24] Newman benefited in the Top 10 shootout for pole as he was the first driver on the track. Before the next driver went out the rain came down and Newman ended up over 6 seconds faster than the 2nd placed Porsche 996 GT3 of racing legend Jim Richards. Newman and co-driver Scott Shearman went on to finish the race 6th outright.[25]

Newman defected to Team Lamborghini for the 2003 Australian Nations Cup Championship and driving the V12 Lamborghini Diablo SVR and GTR models improved to finish 7th outright in the championship. He finished the series in 9th place in Group 1 and 3rd place in Group 2.[26]

After leaving motor racing at the end of 2003, Newman would again race in the 2009 and 2010 Mini Challenge Australia championships, both times at the Albert Park round in the Uber Star Celebrity Car.

Career results

Results sources from:[27]

Season Series Position Car Team
1998 Australian GT Production Car Championship Class C 10th Ford EL Falcon XR8 Ross Palmer Motorsport
1999 Australian GT Production Car Championship Class D 3rd Holden Vectra GL Gibson Motorsport
2000 Australian GT Production Car Championship Class E 4th Holden Vectra GL Gibson Motorsport
2001 Australian Nations Cup Championship 14th Ferrari 360 Challenge Prancing Horse Scuderia
2002 Australian Nations Cup Championship 10th Ferrari 360 Challenge Prancing Horse Scuderia
2002 Australian Nations Cup Championship Group 2 2nd Ferrari 360 Challenge Prancing Horse Scuderia
2003 Australian Nations Cup Championship 7th Lamborghini Diablo SVR
Lamborghini Diablo GTR
Team Lamborghini Australia
2003 Australian Nations Cup Championship Group 1 9th Lamborghini Diablo GTR Team Lamborghini Australia
2003 Australian Nations Cup Championship Group 2 3rd Lamborghini Diablo SVR Team Lamborghini Australia
2010 Mini Challenge Australia 31st Mini Cooper S BMW Australia

Personal life

Newman lives in Docklands, Melbourne.[9] In 2002, he released a compilation album entitled I Do My Best Work After Midnight, consisting of 13 selections from other artists, as well as two songs sung by himself – "Witchcraft" and "I've Got You Under My Skin".[28] In 2008, he was treated for prostate cancer,[29][30] and allowed Channel Nine's program 60 Minutes to film the operation.[31] Following the operation, he was cleared of the cancer.[32]


  1. Australian Football - Sam Newman
  2. AFL Tables - Sam Newman - Stats - Statistics
  3. Herald Sun - The modern ruckman must be over 200cm tall to compete in Land of the Giants
  4. Herald Sun - Sam Newman's year of living dangerously
  5. Geelong Grammar teacher reflects on career | ABC 7:30 Report Transcript
  6. "The Newman Club". Geelong Grammar School. Retrieved 26 September 2014.
  7. AFL - It's 50 years of footy with Geelong great and TV personality John 'Sam' Newman
  8. "The Trouble With Sam". Australian Story. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 16 January 2019.
  9. Wham, bam, thankyou Sam!, The Advertiser, 20 March 2009
  10. Moran, A; Keating, C. The A to Z of Australian Radio and Television. Scarecrow Press. p. 168.
  11. Drill, Stephen (25 January 2012). "Sam Newman quits troubled station MTR over use of F-word on air". Herald Sun. Retrieved 25 January 2012.
  12. "Sam Newman compares US women's star Megan Rapinoe to a dog". 29 June 2019.
  13. "Sports Factor – Indigenous All Stars". ABC. 18 February 2005. Retrieved 18 August 2009.
  14. Kellett, Christine (7 September 2010). "Newman's 'monkey' gibe costs Nine 200 gorillas". Melbourne. The Age.
  15. "Michael Sam's kiss "annoying gratuitous': Sam Newman". The Age. 15 May 2014. Retrieved 8 August 2014.
  16. "Sam Newman exposes himself on The Footy Show". The Age. 8 August 2014.
  17. Newman, Sam (23 September 2019). "This annoying little brat addressed the UN on the so-called climate crisis. WHO lets this shit have a platform? Mendacious, inbred sycophants, that who.". @origsmartassam. Retrieved 25 September 2019.
  18. "Old Man (Sam Newman) Yells At Cloud (Greta Thunberg)". Pedestrian TV. 25 September 2019. Retrieved 25 September 2019.
  19. Fuchs, Michael H. (25 September 2019). "Greta Thunberg showed the world what it means to lead | Michael H Fuchs". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 25 September 2019.
  20. Hewitt, Sue (1 June 2008). "Eddie McGuire's plea to Sam Newman". Sunday Herald Sun.
  21. "Defamation: Nine says sorry, Newman doesn't". The Sydney Morning Herald. 17 November 2009.
  22. "Defamation costs Channel Nine, Footy Show's Sam Newman $200K". AAP. 16 November 2009.
  23. "Sam Newman captured scrapping with skateboarders in Melbourne".
  24. "Sandown 500 Sandown International Motor Raceway Sandown 500 Top Gun Challenge". National Software. 7 September 2002. Archived from the original on 4 September 2004. Retrieved 2 August 2008.
  25. "Sandown 500 Sandown International Motor Raceway 2002 Sandown 500". National Software. 8 September 2002. Archived from the original on 4 September 2007. Retrieved 2 August 2008.
  26. 2003 Australian Nations Cup Championship - Outright Points, via Retrieved on 19 September 2010
  27. Sam Newman Career Motor Racing Highlights
  29. Collier, Karen (5 March 2008). "Sam Newman has prostate cancer". Herald Sun.
  30. Sam Newman diagnosed with cancer Archived 7 March 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  31. "Two of us". The Sydney Morning Herald. 19 April 2014.
  32. Evans, Chris (10 March 2008). "Newman clear but urges cancer tests". The Age. p. 6.
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