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Lowe survives the horrors of WW1 to become one of Manly’s greatest

George Lowe is one of the great legends of Manly Cricket. Not only was he a star on the field, but was instrumental in the growth of Manly Cricket throughout most of the 20th century,
In the 4 season from 1910-11 to 1914-15, Lowe won both the batting aggregate and average in first grade, and scored well in NSW colts matches. Good judges were predicting that he would go on to not only play for his state, but also his country.

A note from local sporting newspaper “The Referee” after a match against University in November 1910 sums him up perfectly:

“The finest effort was that of G. Lowe, who followed up his first innings of 31 by carrying his bat out for 131, made in two hours and embracing 16 fours. The young player has cricket in him. His defence is sound and he makes his strokes on both sides of the wicket with a good deal of confidence. Though this is the first big innings he has played, he has been very consistent in putting together 20’s and 30’s and it seemed only a matter of time when he must go still higher. Now that he has broken into the higher scores he must become a bigger factor in the team. He is a cousin of M.A. Noble and it is fitting that he should be a cricketer of note.”
 
Lowe was one of the most talented players to come through the ranks at Manly for many years, however like many players at the time, World War 1 changed his life forever.

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In 1915, Lowe enlisted in the army, along with 75 other club members. He served in various European theatres of war for four years. During September, 1918, he was badly wounded in operations in Northern France, and taken to Dartford Hospital in England suffering from spinal injuries, from which he was given no hope of recovery. Partially recovering, however, he returned to Australia in 1919 and for three years was a patient at the Prince of Wales Hospital in Randwick.

War left its marks indelibly on this youthful sportsman, however Lowe continued to play the game he loved when health would allow him. Remarkably, due to the fact that he couldn’t run between wickets, he established the 3rd Grade season run scoring record of 973 runs in 1930-31, a record that still stands today. He also broke the 3rd Grade record for the highest individual score with 210*, a record that stood until Brian Clemow’s 287* in 1992/93

Realising his physical disabilities to actively participate in sports, Lowe devoted his life to moulding the lives of the youthful citizens of New South Wales in general and of Manly in particular. Along with Les Gwynne and Jim Randall, he set-up the Saturday morning coaching class which lasted until the beginning of the Saturday morning junior competition, and continued as an active coach for the next 30 years. He taught the kids how to play the game, stressing Newbolt’s words “not how you won or lost, but how you played the game.” There was no greater advocate of clean, healthy sport than George Lowe.

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An association of almost 75 years with Manly Warringah District Cricket Club came to an end with his passing on the 31st May, 1976. He served his country with great dignity during the War years, but despite witnessing and experiencing its deepest horror, returned to Australia to devote himself to the game and club that he loved. He was player, coach, secretary, delegate to Cricket NSW, President and, at the time of his death, our honoured co-patron.

Our 100 year book, published in 1978, probably best sums the respect that he is held in at Manly….. “his achievements and his record of service will stand proudly while ever the club exists, and it is unlikely that we shall look upon his like again.”

 
George Lowe
George Lowe, arguably the most influencial person in the history of Manly Cricket
 

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