CHAMBERS, John Lindsay (1930-2017)

Modified on Tue, 19 Sep 2017 14:41 by Con — Categorized as: Biography - All, Biography - Collegians in the News 1911-1960, Biography - Students, Geelong College, Biography of Sporting Achievement

CHAMBERS, John Lindsay (1930-2017)

John Chambers (Ad Astra, 1996).

John Chambers (Ad Astra, 1996).

John Lindsay Chambers, known in his adult cricket career as 'Cocky', played an outstanding role in Geelong College cricket during the late 1940s before becoming a 'brilliant and agressive' State and Sheffield Shield Cricketer.

He played 27 first class matches between the 1949/1950 and 1954/1955 seasons. In 44 Innings he scored a total of 1457 runs at an average 33.11 per innings. His highest score was 122. He hit three centuries, including the score of 122 at his first debut in the match between Victoria and Tasmania in January 1950. He played District Cricket for South Melbourne in 1948/1949, and later played for Hawthorn-East Melbourne from 1950/1951 to 1968/1969. He served as President of the Waverley Cricket Club, as Waverley CC Delegate to the VCA from 1979 to 1992, Chairman of State Selectors from 1982 to 1990, and as an inaugral member of the Cricket Victoria 200 Club when it was established in 1985. His service to cricket was recognized by Cricket Victoria in 1992 when he was awarded Life Membership.


John Chambers (Cricket, 1948).

He was educated at Geelong College from 2 October 1944 to December 1948. He had previously attended Geelong High School and at the time of his enrolment was living at 342 Ryrie St Geelong.

At College, he was in the 1st Football XVIII from 1946 to 1948, and the 1st Cricket XI from 1945 to 1948, captaining it in 1948. He was Vice-Captain of Shannon House and a School Prefect in 1948. That same year he came 2nd in the Open Tennis Championship, 1st with J E Dickson in the Doubles Tennis Championship and was the winner of the W H Hill Memorial Cricket Trophy. He also served on the Cricket, Football and Tennis Committees and was a cadet lieutenant in the College Cadet Corps.

His batting career at College was memorable and an integral part of the first flowering of College APS Cricket. He was a member of both the 1946 and 1947 APS Premiership Teams - the first times that Geelong College had won APS cricketing premierships. As Captain of the College Teams in 1947 (481 runs average 80.2) and 1948 (284 runs, average 35.5) he topped the batting lists in both years.

He was one of the handful of the youngest cricketers to ever be selected in a College APS team playing his debut match against Melbourne Grammar School on 23 February 1945 - a match in which he was 'not out' without score in the first innings, and scored 11 runs in the second innings. His bowling in the first innings was 0 for 5 runs and in the second a more creditable 3 for 21 runs.

It was in the final match that season against Wesley College on 24 March 1945 however, where the young cricketer proved his mettle. Pegasus described the College first innings as follows: 'College facing a big score (230 runs), went in to bat. After a shaky beginning 1/0, College rallied and the next wicket fell at 80. However, the next three batsmen were dismissed for 36 runs, making the total 4 for 116. At this stage Chambers came in and, together with Ewan, completed a solid partnership of 150 runs. Chambers with a fine 70 and Ewan, who gained a magnificent score of 165, were the outstanding scorers of the match. College declared at 7 for 300.' Curiously, John Chambers later scored three century innings in 1946 (117 runs); 1947 (160 runs); 1948 (123 runs); - all against Xavier College.

During John's cricketing career at College he scored 1226 runs at an average of 45.4 in 31 innings behind Lindsay Hassett, Paul Sheahan and Angus Boyd. He was 'not out' 4 times and his highest score was 160 not out. Up to 1961, his was the third highest batting average in Geelong College Cricket, and his all-time record to 2017 is fourth. His bowling averages were less impressive with a total of 736 runs scored off him and 37 wickets taken at an average 19.89. He still holds the 3rd wicket partnership of 218 against Xavier College in 1946 (Chambers 117, Hallebone 130).

In 2011, John was selected by the Lindsay Hassett Club as a batsman in The Geelong College Team of the Sesquicentenary.

John died on 12 September 2017 aged 86 years.

Sources: Argus 4 March 1950 p6,7;; The Age (Melb) 15 September 2017; Cricket Victoria - Obituary September 2017. OGC 1945.