DOB: 6 September 1903
Died: 1 December 1968
Games: 44 (103 total)
Goals: 13 (29 total)
Captain - 1934-1935
Initially sought by Melbourne before the 1929 season after the Maryborough club disbanded, the Redlegs thought they had their man before Fitzroy signed four other ex-Maryborough players and the ruckman followed them.
Niven captain-coached Fitzroy in his second season of league football before joining Melbourne. Played with his brother Ray at Fitzroy and then joined up with him again late in his Melbourne career. He had also been pursued by Hawthorn in the 1933 pre-season.
In his first year he was vice-captain, acting in the top job when Francis Vine was injured, before being promoted to the top job in 1934. Niven missed most of his second year as captain after suffering bruised kidneys, playing some games under sufferance because he was told his presence was necessary to an inexperienced team. His deputy Allan La Fontaine took charge in his absence.
Niven was cleared to Donald in May 1936.
Niven's cousin was Gordon Jones, and his nephews also played senior football. Les was listed by Melbourne in 1946 before being forced to join North Melbourne because of his residential address. His other nephew John joined North two years later and later played a season for St Kilda. His brothers Jack and Rupert played with Jeffcot in the North Central League.
|Round 4, 1934||Elbowing||Not Guilty|
|Round 4, 1934||Striking||Not Guilty|
Football Record R1 1933 suggests he was vice-captain of Fitzroy in 1932.
Not clear if cleared to Donald as playing or non-playing coach.