Often referred to as “Mr Top End Football”, Douglas George Kelly, first started playing with Wanderers Football Club Colts as a 14 year old in 1964 and in all played over 250 League games.
Doug was a member of Wanderers Grand Final Teams in 1980-81 and 1984-85 and claimed NT football’s ultimate prize twice as a member of the Wanderers Premiership Teams in 1981-82 and 1982-83.
He was Wanderers Leading Goal Kicker in 1967-68 and 1968-69 and in 1981-82 he was the Leading Goal Kicker in the NTFL. In recognition of his services to the famous club, Doug was honored with Life Membership of Wanderers in 1979.
Doug proudly represented the Northern Territory in a game against Mt Isa in 1971-72 and in a game against Queensland in 1972-73.
Doug also spent a number seasons in the CAFL playing for South Alice Springs and Federals.
Doug’s immense contribution to Territory football was recognized in 1986 when he was made an NTFL Player Life Member and in 1989 he was also named one of Toyota’s Top 20 NTFL players.
Doug was awarded the coveted Steve Abala medal in 1987, a medal that recognizes individuals whose sporting career has been strongly connected to the Top End and who is considered an ideal role model for Territory youngsters to aspire to emulate.
Residing in Katherine for much of his career it is estimated that Doug travelled the astonishing equivalent of one and half times around the world to play in his estimated 400 senior games in all grades and competitions! It is fitting that each year the Medal presented for Best on Ground in the Katherine League Grand Final is named in his honor.
Doug was a key member of Katherine Football Club’s NTFL Reserve Grade Premiership team in 1985-86 and was joint best and fairest in the same year. Doug also played 13 leagues with the Katherine Football Club in the 1987-88 NTFL Season and Two (2) games with Nightcliff Football Club in 1988-89.
Doug also played seventy (70) games with Eastside Football Club in the KDFL competition and was a member of the clubs 1990-91 and 1993-94 premiership teams.
Doug was Eastside’s Leading Goal Kicker three (3) times and won the KDFL’s leading goal kicker award with 63 goals in 1992-93.
Displaying plenty of football prowess late in his career Doug represented the Northern Territory in Super Rules in 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989 and 1990 and was named an All Australian at the 1987 National Carnival.
We honour a man, who has quite literally travelled hundreds of thousands of miles to make a remarkable contribution to Territory football. We welcome Doug Kelly, Mr Top End Football, into the AFLNT Hall of Fame.