Eric Tindill All Black!  Meet Eric Tindill cricket star!

The toughness of prefessional playing programmes in modern times probably mean this photo could never take place again!

Eric Tindill All Black! Meet Eric Tindill cricket star!

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.

Usually a halfback but turned into a five-eighths, Eric ‘Snowy’ Tindill played his only rugby test on the All Blacks’ tour of Britain on the 1935-36 tour – the match that is chiefly remembered for English winger 'Prince' Alexander Obolensky’s two tries. (and for the fact that England won!)

Of even greater uniqueness in the sporting career of Tindill, was that he was a ‘double All Black’ which means he played for New Zealand at both cricket and rugby. Of the seven men to achieve this feat, only Tindill played internationals (tests) in both sports.

The Tindill record went further. In 1950 he refereed test rugby (between New Zealand and the British Isles) and eight years later he umpired test cricket. Even further, he was also a New Zealand cricket selector.

Tindill also had the distinction of catching the great Australian batsman Sir Don Bradman off the bowling off Jack Cowie in Adelaide in 1937-38. It was the only time Bradman played against a New Zealand side.

An outstanding sporting allrounder, Tindill also played football and table tennis for Wellington.

Somebody should have made him an All Black rugby selector, just to round his career off nicely!

I was very proud to speak at Eric's funeral in Wellington when he died aged 99 in 2010.

In these days with computer keyboards and paintbox programmes such a picture would be much easier to make today than this one which was made in the years after WWII.

Footnote; The other 'double All Blacks' in New Zealand rugby and cricket are; Bill Carson 1937-38, George Dickinson 1922-32, Charlie Oliver 1925-35, 'Curly' Page 1927-38, Brian McKechnie (1975-81) and Jeff Wilson (1992-2002). To repeat; Eric Tindill was the only one to play tests in both sports.




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