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18 June 2013

Vale Dion Bourne


In the 1950s Bankstown developed rapidly with the influx of migrants. They were mainly British, Italians and Greeks who were very proud of their adopted hometown. When John and Ilsa Konrads set the swimming world alight Bankstown people were delighted. Soccer was most popular and Bankstown Oval was packed at home games. Around 150 budding cricketers tried out for grade and if you were selected everybody wished you the best. People such as Bruce Urry and Bobby Madden were household names in the District as they represented in cricket and soccer. When Madden was selected for Australia in soccer and NSW in cricket he turned into a local  celebrity.

Into this environment came Dion Bourne who migrated from Manly and formed devastating opening partnerships with Bankstown’s first Test player Grahame Thomas and then the determined John Convery. With Grahame, Dion had opening stands of 138,197,147,
128,112 and 105. He plundered 162 against Randwick which was described as an absolute gem of power hitting and followed it with an explosive 119 in just 90 minutes against Gordon.  Included were 3 massive sixes and he rattled the pickets a stunning 19 times. 

Dion captained the under 21 Poidevin-Gray side,  was first grade’s leading run-getter for six seasons and still holds the record for most runs in the top grade with 8149. He was a hard hitting opener with a devastating hook shot who had little difficulty handling the pace of Aussie quicks Dave Renneberg,Frank Misson and Gordon Rorke Together with Grahame Thomas, Dion often gave a fledgling wrist spinner by the name of Ritchie Benaud plenty of punishment. When asked if he was unnerved by pace bowling Dion replied to be quite honest we have faster young bowlers in fourth grade. People thought he could not be serious but he sure was as Jeff Thomson and Len Pascoe were to prove.The formidable pace duo not only provided Dion with headaches in the nets they proved more of a headache to him in later years when he had the dubious privilege of captaining the talent laden but surf loving twosome. Dion needed all his expertise to control the pacy pair and if not for his consistent pleading, cajoling and encouraging they could have easily ended up surfing at Noosa. At one stage Thommo was dropped to third grade where he took all ten wickets as he terrified the shellshocked St. George batsmen. Needless to say he never played third grade again.  

Dion Bourne failed to gain selection for NSW and it was ironic that he should become a State selector himself. Many cricketers in the Western Suburbs joked that the selectors rarely crossed the bridge and this is given more credence when the farcical situation arose that Len and Jeff could not make the NSW team. When they got their act together the dynamic duo frightened batsmen all over Sydney. A brave Warren Saunders had to think seriously about retirement after Thommo hit him with a thunderbolt at Hurstville. Dion was a specialist slip fielder and missed nothing which was no easy task given the sheer pace. People said he passed on those genes to his nephew Mark Waugh and some even say the captaincy genes went to Steve. Mark also showed his leadership flair when captaining the Bulldogs. Ironically when Dion retired he left a vacancy for Mark. Dion was one of the most exuberant guys on the field especially with his vociferous appeals. One time at Drummoyne he leaped high in the air but then crashed to the ground in pain.Unbelievably the Bankstown legend had torn a calf muscle appealing!!

Dion was an Accountant with GEC and he used his financial expertise in his role as Bankstown Cricket’s Treasurer for nineteen years. This was a record which stood a long time until hard working Bulldog Eris Dignam eclipsed it. Dion was a long term Sports Club Director where he was again able to use his financial acumen. He also enjoyed hi role there in helping the aged. Dion was a LIfe Member and was proud to have the scoreboard at Bankstown Oval named after him. Following its demolition he was pleased that the new electronic scoreboard was to be named in his honour. In recent years Dion used all his experience as Chairman of Selectors and was a mentor to all opening batsmen.


The Club wishes to pass its condolences to Les Andrews, distinguished first grade wicket-keeper and club coach, on the

passing of his father Tom.  

A long-serving Bankstown Soccer administrator, Tom Andrews was a cobbler by trade and he had the distinction of making cricket boots for Jeff Thomson and Len Pascoe in their early representative days.


It is with great sadness that we report that Karen Smith, Joel’s mother, has passed away on Sat 15th Dec. at 6.50pm from cancer. Our deepest condolences are with Tony, Joel and the entire family.

Karen requested that in lieu of flowers, friends arrange to take a Bowel Scan test and or donate to Bowel Cancer Australia by following the link and make a donation in Karen’s name.

As a sign of the high esteem with which Karen was held within
St Christopher’s Cricket Club, last Saturday St Christopher’s Under 13s organised a moving tribute to Karen Smith. Karen managed junior teams for several years and was always a strong & selfless contributor to the club. The U13s (in the photo) was one of the teams that Karen helped to manage before she had to give it away. The team performed an on-field memorial to Karen who was an outstanding club person.

Players from all grades wore black armbands on the day.

A big thanks to coach Albert Abela for his efforts in organising the team and also to Moorebank Sports CC for participating in the tribute.

It is with much sadness that we report the passing of Graham Roberts, the father of our 1st grade premiership winning captain, 1st grade record holder, NSW representative and current Director of Cricket Australia, Kevin Roberts. Graham will be remembered as a devoted husband, proud family man, successful businessman, keen sportsman and most of all an absolute gentleman. Graham’s funeral was held  on Thursday 20th February at St. Michael’s Catholic Church Lane Cove - followed by his burial at Nth Ryde and a wake at Chatswood Golf Club where he was a member for over 40 years. We offer our deepest sympathies to his devoted wife Vilma as well as Kevin and the entire Roberts family.


The Club would like to express heartfelt sympathy to Gary Crowfoot and his family on the passing of his Dad Ray last Saturday.
Ray was 81 years old and was always a cheery figure around the grounds during Gary's playing days. Out of respect for Ray our First Grade side wore black arm-bands last Sunday during the side’s victory over Sydney University. Gary's family were very touched and grateful for this gesture by the team.

The family and friends of Ray are invited to attend a Celebration of his Life to be held in the South Chapel at Rookwood Memorial Gardens next Monday 24th March 2014 at 2.30pm.



It is with great sadness that we advise the passing on Sunday 21st September of Bill Thompson, the father of Alan, David, Scott and Natalie only four months after losing his wife of over fifty years Pat. Both falling to the dreaded cancer.
As well as being extremely proud of his children’s sporting achievements, Bill himself was an achiever reaching significant levels in soccer, golf and then lawn bowls.
In what will be remembered as an horrific year for the entire Thompson family, we offer to them all and in particular David and Scott our deepest sympathy.


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The Club is sad to announce the passing of Maud Ferris, mother of Life Member Ken Ferris at 89 years of age. Maud was the beloved wife of Colin and much loved mother and mother-in-law of Ken and Kay, Linda and Ron, and Leslie.


Ken Ferris represented the club for 30 years until his retirement in 1997 and held many honorary positions during his playing years. Maud was a regular figure around the club in that time helping with canteen duties and at other functions and always supporting Ken whether her was playing first grade or fifth grade. 


Maud’s Funeral Service was held Wednesday, December 3, 2014  at the West Chapel, Rookwood Gardens Crematorium at 3:00pm.


We are greatly saddened to learn of the passing on Thursday morning of Vilma Roberts, the mother of 1st grade premiership-winning captain and current Cricket Australia director Kevin Roberts. Vilma did not recover after suffering a stroke last week. The funeral will be held towards the end of next week and details will be advised as soon as they become available. Our thoughts are with Kevin and his family.

The funeral will be held this coming Thursday 29th January, 2015 at St. Michael’s Catholic Church, Lane Cove with the service at 10:30am

Bob Sterling passed away Saturday
14 March, 2015 and was privately cremated.

The family have asked that in lieu of flowers they would prefer a donation to the Bernie Banton Foundation.

Bob was an outstanding supporter of the club in his quiet unassuming way. Until four weeks ago he was the main installer of the black sight screens, often collected gear for Uganda in his truck, always assisted with our first class games at the oval and was a handyman who could fix anything. Generous to a fault, he would not accept as much as a bottle of water from the club.

Bob's other sporting passion was AFL.
He was a life member and wonderful worker for his beloved St George club and represented NSW in his playing days. Highly respected by all that knew him, he will be sadly missed by his wife Marcia, his children Karen, Tanya and Neale to whom we offer our deepest sympathy as well as his many friends and acquaintances. Bobby was 70.
(image from St George AFC Club)

vale bob sterling 14.3.2015

The club expresses its sympathy to Phil Hughes’ family and friends, and the greater cricket community of which he was an integral part - from his club team at Western Suburbs up to the Australian national team and International players, as well as everyone from his home town of Macksville, NSW. On the day of his passing, about 60 players, coaches and parents held a minutes’ silence on the centre wicket at Bankstown Oval to remember Phil. It is such a sad time for all to lose a talented cricketer of his skill at such a young age - our thoughts are with you.

If you would like to leave your own tribute to Phil, Cricket Australia have set up this space CLICK HERE to access.

vale phil hughes



One of the last two surviving members of our initial first grade team in 1951 passed away when life member Jack Theobald declared his innings closed at 92. Jack played in the Shires competition for the club in the two seasons preceding the club’s elevation to grade status and was the holder of cap number 10. Along with his brother Les he was a stalwart of the club in its formative years and captained the 2nd grade premiership winning team in 1957/58, the clubs 3rd trophy since inception. In early annual reports Jack is described as a talented, graceful and tenacious batsman and was consistently mentioned as the club’s best fieldsman. Some current members can still remember him playing in a past verses present match when over 60 years of age and still displaying a “rocket” arm. His interest in the club never wavered. Until he was fully occupied caring for his late wife, he regularly attended AGMs and often called into the oval to see the lads go around. We pass our sincere condolences onto his family.


Nan the much loved and admired grandmother of Mark and Scott Grant passed away last Sunday at the remarkable age of 104. Known to some of our members for almost 50 years when she and her late husband Jim regularly supported Padstow Park under 6 soccer team with a special interest in the four year old centre back, Plant’s Nan never deviated from her passion for her family and sport. Never missing an opportunity to see any Bulldog team play, when her attendance at the grounds was somewhat curtailed by her lack of mobility, it was replaced by regular phone calls to the bandroom asking who ever answered “Darling can I trouble you for the score” which she then transposed to the notebook by her side. Nan was loved and admired by everyone, always bright, always smiling, always positive, always supportive and never critical, a perfect role model.While offering our deepest sympathies to Margaret and Warwick, Mark and Margaret, Scott and Meegan and their families we marvel that they have been so fortunate to have their wonderful Nan in their lives for such a long time.