Robert Oatey

Robert Oatey Bio

Robert Oatey is a former Australian rules footballer. He was the son of South Australian football great Jack Oatey. He died on 17 September 2019 his age and birthdate is known.

Robert played with Norwood and Sturt in the South Australian National Football League. He is a member of the South Australian Football Hall of Fame.

Robert Oatey career

In 1960 Robert was invited to join the Norwood thirds (U19) for four games as a reserve after playing for his school. He then played in the SANFL second semi and Grand Final which Norwood won by defeating North Adelaide FC 13 goals to one with Robert winning the prize of $10 as the best player on the ground.

Robert’s SANFL career

A rover, Oatey kicked a goal with his first kick in league football for Norwood, in the 1961 season. He was amongst Norwood’s best players in the loss to West Adelaide in the 1961 SANFL Grand Final.

Robert won Norwood’s best and fairest award for the first time in 1967 and was also the club’s leading goalkicker. The following season he began a six-year tenure as Norwood’s captain-coach, during which time he played his best football.

He was runner up to Barrie Robran in the 1968 Magarey Medal count, in his first year as coach, a season when Norwood finished last on the ladder.

Robert won another club best and fairest that year, then again in 1971 and 1972. Under Oatey, Norwood improved to fifth in 1970 and was fourth in both 1972 and 1973, but he would be replaced as coach by former North Adelaide player Bob Hammond in 1974.

He played for Sturt, which was coached by his father. He was a Sturt premiership player in 1974 when the club defeated Glenelg in the grand final.

Robert’s nine interstate appearances for South Australia includes games at the 1966 Hobart and 1969 Adelaide Carnivals.

While at Norwood, Oatey played with his brother Peter, who also played tennis at the Australian Championships in the 1960s.

Following Robert’s retirement from playing, Robert Oatey became a television commentator for SANFL games, working with Adelaide’s Channel 7 and Channel 9 alongside others such as Bruce McAvaney, Ian Day, Peter Marker, Rick Keegan, and Graham Campbell.


In 2000, Oatey was named as a forward pocket in Norwood’s Team of the Century. He was an inaugural inductee into the South Australian Football Hall of Fame in 2002.

He received the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) in 2008, for his “service to Australian Rules football as a coach and as a contributor to the development of younger players.”

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