Alan Robert Charles McLean first played for East Adelaide, before joining the College Park Congregational Church team in 1934. It took some convincing to get Bob McLean to play for Norwood, as he was not keen on leaving College Park where he was Secretary. Len Martin, a former Norwood player asked him out to Norwood, and while McLean refused at first, he eventually went out to training and was selected in Norwood's B grade (Reserves). He tried to get out of playing, but as College Park was affiliated with the East Torrens Association, he was compelled to play for his League club once selected.
His League debut for Norwood was against West Adelaide in 1934 when he was named at Centre Half Forward and kicked a goal, but Norwood lost by 21 points. Over the next five years he developed into a fine ruckman for the club, but in September 1938, McLean was rumoured to be leaving Norwood to play in Melbourne, either for St. Kilda in the VFL, or Camberwell in the VFA. However in April 1939, McLean asked for a clearance to Port Adelaide after accepting a position in the Fire Brigade which required him to shift to the Port.
Ironically, McLean's last game for Norwood had been against Port Adelaide in the 1938 Preliminary Final, and while the Redlegs were soundly beaten, he was rated Norwood's best player on the day.
At Port Adelaide he played 148 games as a ruckman/forward and nine State games between 1938 and 1947, including the 1947 Hobart Carnival.
In 1941, while on military service, he played three games for St. Kilda in the VFL.
"Big Bob" went on to be Port Adelaide's Club Secretary from 1949 to 1980, and Chairman from 1983 to 1989.
One of the inaugural inductees in the South Australian Football Hall of Fame, he was later also inducted into the Australian Football Hall of Fame in 2007.
His brother Douglas, played nine games for Norwood in 1935 and 1936.
A fine cricketer, Bob McLean played A Grade cricket for East Torrens and Port Adelaide, as well as representing South Australia on 20 occasions.
R Cialini Aug 2014