Tribute to John O’Loughlin

John O’Loughlin 1928-2014

John O’Loughlin first attended Coogee Oval as a 15 years old Green Shield boy in the season of 1943-44. That was to be the start of a long and distinguished 28 season’s career with the Randwick club for the Marcellin College schoolboy.

John O’Loughlin 1928-2014

John O’Loughlin first attended Coogee Oval as a 15 years old Green Shield boy in the season of 1943-44. That was to be the start of a long and distinguished 28 season’s career with the Randwick club for the Marcellin College schoolboy. He played a few Shire games that season and the next before joining a junior competition and missing a season through a rugby league injury.

Season 1948-49 was an amazing one for O’Loughlin. At the start of the season he won a place in the 4th Grade team playing his first match at the new Snape Park ground. In a bizarre move the 2nd Grade captain Stroy Donnan accepted a recommendation from the 4th Grade captain for John’s inclusion in his team as the 3rd Grade captain was reluctant to recommend anyone from his side. Taking his place in the 2nd Grade team John impressed with an innings of 59 not out and went on to make his 1st Grade debut later that season against North’s at North Sydney Oval. It was 4th Grade to 1st Grade in a Grade debut season!

It wasn’t until 1956-57 that John scored the first of five centuries for the club when he hit 108 against Paddington in 2nd Grade at Trumper Oval. The second also came in 2s when he scored a chanceless and aggressive 144 against Glebe at Jubilee Oval. That ton was scored with a new Stuart Surridge bat John had bought for £5 on the Monday prior to the game. A few seasons later he broke that old favourite when facing the lighting fast Australian bowler Gordon Rorke in a 1st Grade match at Manly Oval.

In 1961-62 John scored 137 not out v Northern District at SCG No.2. His 598 runs aggregate for the season was the highest by a player in 2nd Grade since Randwick was admitted to 1st Grade in 1921-22. That performance was just one of nine occasions when he won the 2nd Grade batting aggregate. He also won the batting average four times.

One of John’s favourite memories was in 1965-66 when Wes Hall was at Randwick. He recalled that they had a good partnership in a 1st Grade match against Manly at Coogee with Wes top scoring with 52 while John made 40. Test opening batsman Jim Burke was in full flight in the run chase before John ran around the boundary and with an outstretched hand managed to snare a catch which had him out for 115 enabling them to dismiss Manly 10 runs short for 218. John won the 1st Grade batting average that season.

Another fond memory of John’s was his 52 on an uncovered wet wicket at SCG no.2 against Jeff Thomson who was playing his final game in 2nd Grade before going on to 1sts and becoming the fastest bowler in the world!

When he retired in 1972 at the age of 44, John did so as the scorer of 8,313 runs for Randwick which was the fifth highest aggregate in the club’s 101 years history. His record included 6,615 runs in 2nd Grade and 693 in 1sts. He held 106 catches and also had a turn at the bowling crease with his right-hand leg spinners and wrong-uns. His bowling was such that it earned him the nickname “The Wrecker” on the basis that he either wrecked the chances of the opposition or those of his own team! John took 119 wickets in his career including a 7 for 46 performance against Manly in a Poidevin Gray under 21 years match.

Apart from his outstanding playing ability John O’Loughlin was a great club man. He was a contributor to the club’s administration as a member of the management committee between 1953 and 1966 and it was an honour well-earned when he was made a Life Member of Randwick in 1973. With Randwick Petersham he was Life Member no.5.

When Randwick joined with Petersham-Marrickville in 2001 to form the new Randwick Petersham Cricket Club, John O’Loughlin was one of its greatest supporters. He was a regular attendee at club matches and social functions and was a keen member of the Randwick Petersham Cricket Legends Society since its inception.

John O’Loughlin was born on 16 July 1928 and was educated at St Michael’s Daceyville and Marist Brothers Randwick (now Marcellin College). He joined the Commonwealth Bank shortly after leaving school and remained there throughout his working life. Apart from being a keen and gifted cricketer, he was an excellent golfer, who at one stage was playing off a handicap of four at St Michael’s Golf Club where he was a member for 64 years. He was an enthusiastic South Sydney rugby league supporter as he was of the Sydney Swans and horse racing and could be found quite often at Randwick Racecourse. A dedicated family man and a man of great faith, John died on 12 August 2014 aged 86. Randwick Petersham not only lost a great friend and supporter but the cricket community lost one of its true gentlemen.

Lyall Gardner

Randwick Petersham Cricket Historian

19 August 2014

1 reply
  1. warren Kilcran
    warren Kilcran says:

    I played golf at St. Michael’s with John for quite a few years as he was a member of the world renowned St. Michael’s Gc. “Guinness Club”. He was quite, modest and a true gentleman and his passing was quite a shock to his many, many friends……and like cricket, he COULD play golf. His advice was always welcome. I attended the same schools a John although many years later.

    After his passing, I became aware that he was a good friend of my Godfather was was saddened that we missed an opportunity to not swap stories in that regard.

    He is often spoken of on-course and fondly remembered.


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