Neville French – Tasmania
Neville was born on 21/09/1926 the same year as Slim Dusty. Neville’s wife Beverly passed away 10 years ago. Together they have 6 children 4 boys and 2 girls: Jane, Peter, Bevan, Dawn, Stuart and Jamie. They all grew up listening to Slim Dusty.
Neville was inspired to start chopping after participating in a chop at the Wynyard area where he beat all the other axemen. His first chop was at Forrest, Tasmania in 2949. It was the 10 inch mugs event
Neville’s most memorable moment was winning at Sydney Show in 1972 the 15 inch Standing Block Championship in the fastest recorded time. Another special moment for Neville was to be the first ever axeman to win the Standing and Underhand Championship at the Hobart Show. His biggest rivals in woodchoping were Jack O’Toole, Gary Hewitt, Geoff Binns and Ron Sherriff. His favourite event was the 42 inch underhand. His last chop was in 1988 here at Henley on the Mersey in the veterans event. Neville won the Mercury Sports Award 3 times, Axeman of the Year 3 times. Amassed a total of 33 wins in 1972, the same year and 1974 he represented Australia in New Zealand.
He was also a great footballer. neville played in the ruck for Wynyard and one day unbeknown to Neville, Footscray came over to poach him but he lady Neville boarded with told them to go away. She was a die hard Wynyard supporter and didn’t want to lose him. Being a footballer he fell to injury with a bad back in the prime of his woodchopping career in 1965.
Neville French lives today in Wynyard and in his day he was a GREAT AXEMAN.