John Curtin : a good sport

Frederick Mann remembers Curtin as a cricketer:

'And with the cricket I can remember playing against Jack Curtin in 1927. I played for Cottesloe Beach (my father was the secretary of the club) and I had only just left school as a matter of fact, only in short pants; but Cottesloe Cricket Club played on what is now the Harvey Reserve. They had a turf wicket. My Dad was President of the Claremont/Cottesloe Matting Association and for some reason or other Cottesloe came in with a turf wicket but only for that one year in 1927.

Jack Curtin played in that team and some of his team mates were Frank Bendan, Harry Briggs and the two Clifford brothers, Dick and Reg. I was only in short pants and only a very junior member, I was only sixteen as a matter of fact. I can remember Jack Curtin, he was then editor of the Westralian Worker, I can remember him coming and I was struck with him because he had a very distinct cast in his left eye. He didn't field in too close to the wicket and I came on to bowl in one stage of the business, to bowl against him - he came in about the middle of the order - and I thought "now how in the devil is he going to see the ball with this cast in the eye?"- because it was most pronounced. Anyhow I bowled up an over and I found that he was a determined batsman-didn't have a great number of strokes, but very determined and he was going to let the hitters, the two Clifford brothers in particular, they were going to score the runs. So my attitude to bowling to him after that was very distinct and I let him have the lot. But he was still very defensive and showed what a determined character he was.'

Excerpt from:
JCPML. Records of the John Curtin Prime Ministerial Library. Interview of Mr Frederick Mann, 29 November 1997. JCPML00250.

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