Thinking and talking about rugby every day for 50+ years
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From my travels I have collected many photos; had them sent to me or saved them, because, well, behind most of them there is a good story!
8 March 2015
Memories of dear Athletic Park. The ground in the suburb of Berhampore in Wellington, New Zealand was called 'The Home of Rugby' on a sign inside the ground. But its time as 'HQ' for rugby in Wellington had to end. By 1999 the facilities at the very famous field were old, rusty and literally in danger of collapsing in some places. After rugby had been played there for over 100 years a brand new stadium had been built downtown (in what we know now as Westpac Stadium). So we locals came to that very sad but inevitable day in 1999 - when the last test ever was played on 'our' home ground. Read more »
28 February 2015
I love this old picture. There is so much about it that has come down the years. And on a personal level when I saw it as a kid I was first drawn to it by seeing our 'family name' on the advertising hoarding in the background. Read more »
19 February 2015
Here I am interviewing the great 1950s and 60s All Black Peter 'Tiger' Jones in Whangarei (in about 1985). I had met him earlier - before I was granted the right to wear the deplorable 'One World of Sport' blazer you see here! Read more »
11 February 2015
This is a photograph taken at one of rugby's rarest events. It was a 'secret' test match played at Owl Creek Polo Field in Glenville, New York in September 1981. Read more »
25 January 2015
The 1970 tour of South Africa by the All Blacks should have been a great experience for the All Black captain Brian Lochore. For tough reasons it did not turn out that way. Read more »
12 January 2015
I've always loved this great picture of Eric Tindill of Wellington, the 'Double All Black.' Such men were called that in New Zealand sporting circles. They were a rare group of men who played for New Zealand at both test rugby and cricket. There have only been a very few of them. This picture from 'Crown Studios' in Wellington was a great attempt to capture his double sporting talent. But Eric's record in International sport went even further than playing it. Read more »
Thus the ABs beat the Lions 18-17. Shocking really - but hey! We'll take it!
BAKER, REGINALD ‘Snowy’
New South Wales and Australia
2 internationals for Australia, 1904
Though Reg Baker’s international career of playing halfback in both losses against the 1904 British side reads unglamorously, he is listed in any record as one of the sport’s earliest all-rounders. He became the first man to represent Australia in five sports: rugby, boxing, polo, swimming and diving. He actually competed in 24 other different games! Among his greatest achievements was to represent Australia at boxing in the 1908 Olympic Games, where he lost the middleweight final to J.W.H.T. (‘Johnny Won’t Hit Today’). Johnny Douglas was later an England cricket captain. For the record, the bout was refereed by Douglas’s father!
After his brief rugby career, Baker settled in Hollywood, where he taught film stars to ride, swim, fence and fight. He also starred on screen several times. By then, his younger brother Harald (correct spelling) had also represented Australia in rugby and had won Australian titles in boxing, swimming, water polo, and wrestling. Harald Baker was a lock in three tests against New Zealand in 1914.
It goes without saying that ‘Snowy’ Baker won his nickname for having distinctive blond hair.
Which New Zealand sports broadcaster once described a tight tennis match as 'a Battle of Nutrition.'