Vale Neil Cassidy (1953-2020)

It is with great sadness that we advise of the passing of former player and first eleven captain, Neil Cassidy, on Saturday 15 August 2020 after a long illness. He was aged 66.
Born and bred in the small country town of Edenhope, Neil came to Melbourne seeking work after completing his secondary education. A fluent top and middle-order batsman, he played several seasons with St Kilda before joining Brighton in 1976-77, where he reunited with former St Kilda teammates George Voyage, David King and Mike Tamblyn. In and out of the first eleven in his first few seasons, Neil was transferred to Sydney in his employment in 1979.
He returned to Melbourne and Brighton in time for the 1982-83 season, and having started in the second eleven played one of the greatest innings ever played by a Brighton player at the level with a score of 151 not out against Mount Waverley. In that game he combined with tailender Blake Meadows to add 167 for the 9th wicket (with the remaining batsman indisposed) and chase down Mount Waverley’s score of 315 from a seemingly hopeless position.
Reinstated to the senior team, Neil was a first eleven regular from that time. Such was the esteem in which he was held, he was made vice-captain under Shane Lavars in 1983-84, and then under Roland Thompson when he took over the following year. When the latter was forced to retire just before the 1986-87 season, Neil took over as captain at very short notice. He established himself as a popular and respected leader, and the young Brighton team of that season, which included Shane Warne, performed beyond expectations.
Neil transferred to Hobart in his employment during 1987 in a move that became permanent. During his working life there he enjoyed considerable success in the field of superannuation as General Manager of the Tasplan Superannuation Fund. He did, however, remain in touch with many of his former Brighton teammates and retained an ongoing interest in the fortunes of the club.
An easy-going, generous and genuine person, Neil had many fine qualities, and will be greatly missed by all who had the privilege of playing with him and enjoying his friendship. In all, he played exactly 100 games for the club, 78 of which were in the first eleven. In total he made 2,002 runs at an average of 20.85, with two centuries.
Our deepest condolences are extended to Neil’s wife Lynne, and their two sons Brett and Glen.