Phil Kelly Bankstown District Cricket Club Life Member Friday 25th July 2014

PK’s biography from Mick Stephenson’s book ’50 Not Out’

In 1978-79 P.K. spent most of the season in fourth grade under Ken Scully, although he did have one game in thirds. Phil was the leading wicket taker in fourths with 25 at 13.36 including a sensational 7-48 versus Sydney. The following season saw the tall young paceman start to work his way up through the grades. After taking 14 wickets at 13.35 in Ken Scully’s fourths, including 5-29 against Mosman, he was promoted to thirds and then quickly elevated to John Dunn’s seconds. Phil continued to impress and his skipper reported that, “he was not overawed by his rise through the grades and turned in some mature fast bowling performances.” His figures of 14 wickets at 24 apiece in seconds indicated that he was indeed comfortable with his promotion. P.Ks meteoric rise continued in 1980-81when after taking 9 wickets in seconds at just 11.6, including 4-47 against North Sydney, he was promoted to first grade. Alas, after impressing skipper Bob Vidler with the fact he was improving every game, injury struck again. Phil’s season was curtailed after he had claimed 12 victims at an average of 23 in a most promising start. Injury again plagued his 1981-82 season and he took 13 wickets in seconds, plus 8 in firsts which included 4-55 versus Waverley. The 1982-83 season saw Phil snare 35 wickets at 14.65 in thirds. He was just pipped for the average by .04 of a run by a young up and coming wrist spinner David Freedman who spun out 44 batsmen at 14.61. Skipper Mick C. Stephenson noted that, “it was a credit to Phil’s grit and determination that he battled on despite nagging injuries.” Testimony to his accuracy was the fact that he clean bowled 15 of his victims. Although not renowned for his batting prowess, he did contribute a defiant 19 in a match winning 62 run last wicket partnership with Steve Sydes against Manly. He got together with Steve again in 1983-84 when Suds captained thirds. The side went close to premiership honours, but suffered a narrow defeat by North Sydney in the final. P.K. was an invaluable member of the team and picked up 43 wickets at just 13.37, including a sensational 7-57 versus Sutherland. Suds wrote that, “Phil repeatedly picked up early wickets exposing the middle order to the new ball and took a brilliant slips catch against Balmain which had to be seen to be believed”.

The 1984 -85 season was spent mainly in thirds and Phil took 22 wickets at 23.27. He cut a swathe through the Waverley batsmen with a devastating 6-32. P.K. snared 13 wickets at 18.3 in fourths in 1985-86, including 6-50 against Mosman, and 12 at 13.08 for Mike J. Stephenson’s thirds. “Groover” praised the big hearted paceman as an aggressive fast medium bowler who always gave his best , was a great inspiration to the younger players, and provided tactical advice which was very much appreciated. Phil’s leadership qualities were recognised in 1986-87 and he took over the reins as third grade skipper. He was praised for an excellent job, especially in view of the many team changes, and was his usual honest and hardworking self with the ball. Marty Klumpp in 1987-88 wrote that “ Cricketers do not come any more dedicated than Phil Kelly, a man who truly loves the game”. P.K.s tenacious attitude helped the team to the semis in that season, and he had developed an excellent rapport with the younger players. Phil took the bowling honours with 29 wickets at 11.79, including a career best 8-30 versus Waverley. Phil was called up to first grade for one game where he bowled well and took two fine catches. Brian Freedman reported in 1988-89 that Phil again led the team with great drive and enthusiasm and also bowled well to take 24 dismissals at 18.7. In the season of 1989-90 it was a proud moment for “Kelly’s Heroes” when the skipper held aloft the Mitchell Cup. The thirds clinched a well deserved premiership in a rain reduced final against Manly at Bankstown. The side had a sensational start to the season and was undefeated at Christmas time. The skipper led by example and dominated the bowling with 39 wickets at a mere 12.1 apiece. Brian Freedman described Phil as one of the finest club men ever, not only as one of the most successful fast bowlers in all grades, but as an inspiring leader. Brian doubted if anyone in the club had ever deserved to win a Premiership as much as Phil Kelly. In typically modest fashion Phil detailed all worthwhile contributions during the season except his devastating 8-75 against Fairfield.

P.K. announced his retirement but it was short lived and he returned in 1992-93 to again captain thirds. Phil won the bowling average and also took most wickets ahead of a very promising paceman in the form of Nathan Bracken!! In 1993-94 P.K. played fifths, fourths and thirds before being struck down by his old nemesis, the recurring knee injury. The problem enabled him just to play a few games in 1994-95 but, not to be denied, he bounced back to skipper fifths in what proved to be his farewell season, 1997-98. Phil did not do a lot of bowling and he trundled down just 90 overs for 7 wickets. He preferred to ensure that his young charges received plenty of opportunity. However, he was enormously proud that his 16-year-old son Mat took most wickets and also won the bowling average. Phil received lavish praise from Secretary Marty Klumpp for his youth policy and the guidance and encouragement he gave his young charges. It was sad to see him go but nobody had done more for the Bulldogs than the very popular Phil Kelly.

Phil’s involvement at the Bulldogs resumed in season 2010/11 when he worked as part of the coaching group under Head Coach David Drew.  In the Annual report that year David was lavish in his praise for Phil’s efforts on the coaching front. 

In 2011/12 Phil was a Roving Selector before taking over as Chairman of Selectors from Dion Bourne in 2012/13. Despite a bout of severe ill health Phil continued in this role during the Club’s successful 2013/14 season proving that he has lost none of the tenacity and Bulldog spirit so often displayed during his playing days. It is also wonderful to note that Phil’s son Mat has continued the family tradition at the Bulldogs now captains the Club’s Third side with great enthusiasm.

Hardworking paceman “P.K.” was the bowling version of Ken Ferris, a tremendous clubman who towards the end of his career had great success captaining the lower grades. His trademark outswinger enabled him to capture 511 wickets, and it was only persistent, niggling injuries that prevented him making more appearances in first grade. He was a stubborn tail-ender and played some handy rearguard innings, totalling 673 runs for the Club.

Phil started off his 19 season long career in Ted Baker’s fifth grade side in the 1975-76 season. The lanky youngster claimed 20 wickets at 14.45 including 6-46 versus Sydney Uni B. He was described by his skipper as a willing workhorse who moved the ball about nicely. The following season he took 14 wickets at 10.8 again in Ted’s side which went on to become fifth grade premiers. Phil had the best bowling average but required one more wicket to be eligible to take that honour. How-ever, his promising early form, including 5-10 against Northern District, saw him promoted to Arthur Taylor’s fourth grade. A.T.s team made it through to the semis with the help of Phil’s fine bowling and he took 29 wickets at 10.8, including 5-43 versus Gordon. In 1977-78 he started off in great form once again with Arthur’s fourths and looked set for higher honours with 20 wickets at 11.9. He crashed through the Mosman batting with 6-27 and in conjunction with lively left-hander Ken Williams, who snared 3-11, helped bundle them out for 104. However, a nasty foot injury forced him out and he did not recover until late in the season when he returned in fifths and snared 9 wickets at 21.88. Phil almost bowled the P-G side to victory in the final when he captured 5-57 against Manly. Unfortunately, the side which was without Bob Vidler and Graeme Pitty in the final was beaten by a mere three runs.

Phil accepting his Life Membership

Phi’s family - including his parents - were there when he received his Life membership. Phil’s other son, Mat Kelly, our 3rd grade captain was overseas.

Watch PK’s Life Membership acceptance speech - it has been reduced in size to fit onto web,
but is still a large file...

(read his full story below
while it loads the first time)

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