DOB: 6 September 1903
Died: 1 December 1968
MFC Debut: Round 1, 1933 against Richmond at MCG
Last Game: Round 8, 1935 against Carlton at MCG
Games: 44 (103 total)
Goals: 13 (29 total)
Number: 10 (1933), 1 (1934), 2 (1935)
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.
After nearly two years out of the game, Niven joined Donald as playing coach in May 1936, remaining there until 1939.
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|
Family at other clubs
Football Record R1 1933 suggests he was vice-captain of Fitzroy in 1932.
The Argus - 27/04/1929
Football Record R1 1929
Referee - 25/01/1933
Weekly Times - 24/06/1933
Sporting Globe - 23/03/1935
Argus - 24/05/1935
Herald - 16/07/1935
Weekly Times - 13/06/1936
Weekly Times - 18/11/1939
Australian Football profile
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