Featured artist: Shannon Crees

Marrickville Park Sporting Walk of Honour

Featured artist: Shannon Crees
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Marrickville Park Sporting Walk of Honour

Marrickville has a rich sporting history with numerous prominent sporting women and men having called the area home. To celebrate this, Council is opening a Sporting Walk of Honour in Marrickville Park as part of a staged upgrade of the park.

The Marrickville Park upgrade, including the Sporting Walk of Honour, will be officially opened on Saturday 15 July at 1pm.

The sportspeople featured in the walk are listed below.

Bob SimpsonBob Simpson AO – Cricket

  • Born: February 3, 1936, Marrickville, Sydney, New South Wales

Arguably the greatest cricketer Marrickville ever produced.

Bob Simpson made his first-class debut with NSW at the age of 16 before he moved to Western Australia in 1956 to further his career. In 1957 Bob played the first of his 62 Test Matches against South Africa in Johannesburg while the first of his 10 Test centuries came in 1964 when he scored 311 against England at Old Trafford. With Bill Lawry he formed one of Australia’s most formidable opening partnerships. The advent of World Series Cricket in 1977 saw Bob emerge from 10 years of retirement at age 41 to captain Australia in a Test series against India. When he finally hung up his boots the following season, he did so with a Test record of 4,869 runs and 71 wickets plus a then-record 110 catches, mainly at first slip. He remains Australia’s most successful opening batsman with a Test average of 55.51. His overall first-class record is also impressive with 21,029 runs and 359 wickets from 257 matches at the outstanding average of 56.22. He also hit 100 fifties to go with his 60 centuries and 383 catches.

* Special thanks to RPCC historian Lyall Gardner for compiling these statistics.

Bob played for New South Wales, Western Australia and Australia, captaining the national team from 1963-64 until 1967-68 and again in 1977-78. After ten years in retirement, he returned to the spotlight at age 41 to captain Australia at a time where defections to the breakaway World Series Cricket competition had severely reduced the strength of the Test team.

He later had a highly successful term as the coach of the Australian men's team. When he was appointed in 1986 he inherited a young, demoralised group which hadn't won a Test in its last 14 attempts. By the end of his tenure in 1996, Australia was the leading Test team in the world.

He showed early leadership skills, captaining Marrickville West Primary School and later Tempe Intermediate High School. He captained 14-year-olds at the age of 12.

In his early years, Simpson was also a talented golfer, baseball player and soccer player, and was known for being a confident and tenacious competitor. He raised money to buy his first set of golf clubs by collecting lost balls from Marrickville Golf Course and selling them second hand.

Born to Scottish immigrants from Falkirk, Simpson grew up in Marrickville. He graduated from Tempe High School.

Tommy AndrewsTommy Andrews – Cricket

  • Born: 1890
  • Died: 1970

Born and raised in Newtown Tommy played for Petersham CC and Australia, he was known as a dashing right-hand batsman and nimble fielder. In 16 Tests he scored 592 runs. The T. J. E. Andrews Memorial Scoreboard at Petersham Park is named after him.

Kevin BerryKevin Berry OAM  – Swimming

  • Born: 1945, Marrickville
  • Died: 2006, Sydney

Kevin Berry was 14 years old, one of the nation’s youngest Olympians, when he was selected to swim for Australia at the 1960 Games in Rome. Kevin went on to win a gold medal in the 200m butterfly at the 1964 Summer Olympics in Tokyo. During his prestigious career he set twelve world records in his specialist event. After his swimming career ended he went on to become the Pictorial Editor of the Sydney Morning Herald and later the head of ABC Sport.

Berry, the second of seven children, was born in Marrickville in 1945 and grew up in the area. Kevin was awarded the Order of Australia in 1992 for services to swimming.

Kevin lived with his family at the end of Warburton Street, Marrickville, next to the Marrickville Municipal Pool. A much loved man, he died in a Sydney nursing home in December 2006, aged 61.

Fanny DurackFanny Durack – Swimming

  • Born: 27 October 1889
  • Died: 20 March 1956

Fanny Durack was an Olympic swimming legend and a champion of women's rights. She was the first woman swimmer to win gold at an Olympic Games, and held every world freestyle record during the peak of her career.

Download this PDF to learn more about Fanny Durack, after whom this aquatic centre was officially named in 1999.

In 1912 Fanny Durrack became the first woman to win a swimming medal at the Olympics, having already dominated the local swimming scene for several years prior to that. She held all women’s swimming records in the late 1910s, and until the 1932 Olympics, no other woman came close to her swimming abilities. Fanny lived in Douglas Street, Stanmore for about 30 years.

Lived in Douglas Street, Stanmore for about 30 years.

Frank 'Bumper' FarrellFrank 'Bumper' Farrell – Rugby league

Premiership winning and national representative rugby league footballer. A prop forward, his long club career was with the Newtown Bluebags from 1938 to 1951 with four Test appearances for the Australian national side between 1946 and 1948. Outside of football he was a policeman in the New South Wales force; he rose through the ranks and was stationed in Sydney's tough inner-city suburbs, where he earned a reputation as feared and revered detective in the Vice Squad.

Charles 'Boxer' RussellCharles 'Boxer' Russell – Rugby league and rugby union

  • Born: 1884, St Peters, NSW
  • Died: 1957, Tempe, NSW

Charles "Boxer" Joseph Russell was a pioneer Australian rugby union and rugby league footballer and coach. He represented his country in both sports and was one Australia's early dual-code rugby internationals. He was a gold medalist at the 1908 Summer Olympics.

Jeff FenechJeff Fenech – Boxing

  • Born: 28 May 1964, Sydney NSW

Nicknamed the "Marrickville Mauler", Jeff Fenech was a three-weight world champion and boxing trainer. Fenech is considered by many Australians to be national sporting hero.

In retirement Fenech has kept busy and now he is the owner of a sports clothing brand that carries his name in Australia. In addition, he was inducted in 2002 into the International Boxing Hall Of Fame in Canastota, New York. Fenech retired with a record of 27 wins, 3 losses and 1 draw, with 20 wins by knockout.

Bill BrownBill Brown OAM – Cricket

Australian cricketer who played 22 Tests between 1934 and 1948 captained his country in one test. A right-handed opening batsman, his partnership with Jack Fingleton in the 1930s is regarded as one of the finest in Australian Test history. After the interruption of World War II, Brown was a member of Don Bradman’s Invincibles, who toured England in 1948 without defeat. In a match in November 1947, Brown was the unwitting victim of the first instance of Mankading, a controversial form of a run-out.

Brown was born in Toowoomba, Queensland. At age 3 he moved to Marrickville with his family. He played grade cricket for Marrickville Cricket Club.

Ernie ToshackErnie Toshack – Cricket

  • Born: 8 December 1914
  • Died: 11 May 2003

Ernest Toshack was an Australian cricketer who played in 12 Tests from 1946 to 1948. Known for his accuracy and stamina in his application of leg theory, Toshack was best known for being as member of Bradman's Invincibles that toured England in 1948 without incurring a defeat, where he reinforced Australia's new ball attack of Ray Lindwall and Keith Miller.

Only at the end of the war at the age of 30 did he go to Sydney. At the time, he was a medium-fast left-arm bowler and approached Petersham – as Toshack lived in their locality, they had the right to register him ahead of other clubs. They did not select Toshack, so he joined Marrickville in Sydney Grade Cricket, starting in 1944–45.Within two matches, he rose to the first grade team By this time, Petersham regretted their decision to spurn Toshack and lodged a complaint with the cricket authorities, claiming that he was obliged to represent them and ineligible to play for Marrickville. Toshack later recalled that Petersham were "told where to go".

Ernie Toshack was one of the game's most captivating characters. Tall, with striking, rugged features, he was known to his team-mates as The Black Prince (Sid Barnes enviously dubbed him "The Film Star"), having earlier, in his boxing days, been called 'Johnson' for his swarthiness (the American black heavyweight Jack Johnson ruled the boxing world just before Toshack was born).

Ron SaggersRon Saggers – Cricket

  • Born: 15 May 1917, Sydenham, NSW
  • Died: 17 March 1987, Sydney, NSW

Ron Saggers was a Marrickville first-grade captain and wicketkeeper and led the team to its only premiership success in 1943-44 when more than 8,000 people jammed in to Marrickville Oval to see the local team defeat the defending premiers St George.

Ron went on to play six Tests for Australia between 1948 and 1950. He was a member of Don Bradman's famous Invincibles 1948 team which toured England undefeated.

Ron also played Sheffield Shield cricket for New South Wales in a career which comprised 77 first-class matches, scoring 1,888 runs with a highest score of 104 not out while affecting 221 dismissals as a wicketkeeper.

Sid BarnesSid Barnes – Cricket

  • Born: 1916, Annandale, NSW
  • Died: 1973, Collaroy, NSW

Sidney George "Sid" Barnes was a batsman who played 13 Tests for Australia and averaged over 63. He played for NSW Sheffield Shield team between the late 1930s and early 1950s and averaged over 53 in all first class cricket matches. He played his grade cricket for the Petersham Cricket Club. He and Sir Don Bradman compiled a world-record fifth-wicket Test batting partnership of 404 against England, where they each scored 234.

Sid attended Stanmore Public School and played cricket for St Augustine's Church (demolished in 1990s) in Albany Road Stanmore. In his autobiography It Isn't Cricket (1953) he tells of playing cricket in Corunna Road and Cardigan Street, Stanmore.

Molly Flaherty – Cricket

  • Born: 1914
  • Died: 1989

Molly represented in Australian women's cricket. Molly played 6 Tests in the 1930s and 1940s which included a tour to England. Molly was a feared fast bowler and right-handed batter.

Molly once lived at Terrace Road in Dulwich Hill.

Cyril Graham – Baseball

Cyril Graham was a pitcher for New South Wales 11 times from 1921 to 1937 and played an exhibition against Stanford University in 1928. In 2010 he was inducted into the Baseball Australia Hall of Fame.

Annette KellermanAnnette Kellerman – Swimming

  • Born: 6 July 1887, Marrickville, NSW
  • Died: 6 November 1975, Southport, QLD

Annette Kellerman was a Marrickville-born swimmer, aquatic performer and actress, who at one point held all of the world's records for women's swimming. The Annette Kellerman Aquatic Centre, located in Enmore Park, was named in her honour. Kellerman was one of the first women to wear a one-piece bathing costume and inspired others to follow her lead – her own designed costume became so popular that she started her own fashion line of one-piece bathing suits. She appeared in several Hollywood movies usually with aquatic themes.

Tom PhillisTom Phillis – Motorcycle racing

  • Born: 1934, Sydney, NSW
  • Died: 1962, Isle of Man, British Isles

Thomas Edward Phillis was a trend setting international motorcycle racer. He was the first rider to win a world championship Grand Prix on a Japanese machine, the first Australian to record a Grand Prix double, and the first man to lap the Isle of Man at 100 miles per hour on a push-rod machine. Sadly, Tom Phillis was also a rider lost in his prime – at the 1962 Isle of Man, his one serious accident was fatal.

Phillis was born in Sydney and grew up in Marrickville where his father was a dispatch rider. He became a keen bicycle racer, but retired from that sport after a serious crash at Henson Park. After leaving school at 16, Phillis had taken up a motor mechanic apprentice. His first experience of motorcycling came with the job, where he had to use a 125cc Excelsior motorcycle to deliver messages around Sydney and it was there that he began to develop an interest in motorcycles.

Known as Ted to his family, in 1954 Phillis married Betty and they went on to have two children, Debra Ann and Thomas Braddan. Phillis was well-liked, modest and known for his dry sense of humor. He also developed a reputation for poor timekeeping, and having arrived late for the German GP in 1958, and being told that he would not be allowed to practice, shrugged his shoulders and said "Well, I'd better set off for next week's Swedish GP to get there on time.

Tom resided at both 9 and 35 Charles Street, Marrickville.

Colin DibleyColin Dibley – Tennis

  • Born: 1944, Marrickville, NSW

Colin started his career in Marrickville at the Marrickville & District Hardcourt Tennis Club in Henson Park where he played in the A grade competition and was a member of the winning Blackwell Cup team in 1966. Colin once held the record for the fastest service in the world at 148 mph and was ranked No26 in the world in June 1973. He was also a member of the winning Australian Davis Cup team of 1973.

Through Colin’s tennis career he has laid claim to beating some of the top professional players of that time such as Rod Laver, John Newcombe, Jimmy Connors, John McEnroe and Ivan Lendl.

Colin was born in Marrickville in 1944. Retiring in 1981 to move into Real Estate but still coaching the game he loved, he now resides in the USA.

Claude WilliamsClaude Williams – Basketball

Claude Williams, a member of the Aboriginal and Islander Sports Hall of Fame, played, first-division rugby league and basketball for New South Wales. Born in Camperdown, New South Wales in 1952, Claude played 12 games on the wing for South Sydney in 1972-73. After switching codes he went on to represent New South Wales in basketball in 1976, 1977, 1979 and 1981.

A successful coaching career followed and in 1986-87 Claude was assistant coach of the Sydney Supersonics, followed by a year as coach of the Sydney Kings. In 1989-90 he went on to become assistant coach of the Newcastle Falcons.

Peter Landrebe – Croquet

Rosemary Landrebe – Croquet

Rosemary has played in the New Zealand and British Open three times.

Wally CarrWally Carr – Boxing

Commonwealth champion boxer Wally Carr held twelve titles in six divisions. From featherweight to heavyweight, he fought an astonishing 101 professional bouts in a career that lasted 15 years.

Wally Carr was inducted into the Australian National Boxing Hall of Fame in October 2010.

"I've been fighting since the day I was born — no, I've been fighting from the time I was curled up inside my mother's belly. The day my father shot himself in the head, that's when my fight started", notes Wally Carr in the book.

For more information about Wally Carr, please visit www.mylongestround.com

Tim Cahill – Soccer (association football)

  • Born: 6 December 1979, Sydney, NSW

Tim CahillTim Cahill is a professional association footballer and one of Australia's most celebrated Socceroos, having represented Australia and the FIFA World Cup finals in 2006, 2010 and 2014.

He was born in Sydney, New South Wales to an English father of Irish descent and a Samoan mother, and was encouraged to play football as a child. He grew up moving between homes around Sydney's south, west and inner west. He has an older sister Opa, older brother Sean and younger brother Chris.

As a youngster, Cahill played football for Balmain Police Boys Club and the Marrickville Red Devils.

He has played club football for Millwall, Everton, the New York Red Bulls, Shanghai Shenhua, Hangzhou Greenton and Melbourne City.