It is with great sadness that we advise of the passing of club legend Ron Watkins.
Ron was a Manly Warringah Junior Cricket Association life member and Seaforth Cricket Club President. He passed away on 28th September 2013, aged 87 years. Ron is our 2nd highest ever wickettaker for the club with 696 wickets at an average of 17.12. He played from 1942 to 1967.
Ron’s contribution to Manly cricket was enormous and he will be greatly missed by all of us. We would like to extend our sympathies to Ron’s wife Nancy, children and in-laws, Merilyn and Dean, Mark, Philip and Allesandra, and grandchildren Oliver, Grace, Isaac and Sienna.
A funeral service will be held for Ron at All Saints’ Anglican Church, Balgowlah on Thursday 3rd October 2013 at 10am
Ron Watkins – An Obituary – by Mike Pawley
Ron Watkins first played cricket for Manly Warringah in 1942, being a brother of two older boys, Bruce and Ken, who had already joined the grade club.
The 3 Watkins were part of the successful Green Shield teams that won trophies in 1941, 1942 and 1943, and were all products of the George Lowe, Les Gwynne coaching school program that also produced Peter Philpott and Jimmy Burke and took place on Manly Oval every Saturday morning before the first grade team started playing at 1pm. There was no junior cricket played in the district in those days and less than 30 youngsters attended the cricket coaching classes that George oversaw.
I first played with Ron in 3rd grade around 1958 when I was 14 and Ron about 33. I remember Ron as a very determined medium paced seam bowler who loved bowling and disliked captains who told him it was time for a rest from the bowling crease. He bowled off a shortish run, and had a big pounding last stride. As an all rounder he was a very stubborn middle order batsman who scored runs through deflections rather than fluent drives.
By the time he had finished playing grade cricket in 1967, Ron had taken 696 wickets at 17.12 and scored 4252 runs at 17.36, strangely without ever scoring a century. He remains the second highest wicket taker in the history of the Manly Warringah District Cricket Club. Even though his playing career was mainly 2nd and 3rd grade, and whilst he was not the best all rounder to play for Manly Warringah, he is arguably the greatest all round achiever of all time for the club.
After he retired from grade cricket, Ron spent many years giving back to cricket in Manly Warringah what people like George Lowe, Tom Brooks, Bruce Cook, Peter Philpott and Jimmy Burke had inspired him to do through playing cricket and training with those great heroes of the grade club. Numerous youngsters benefitted from the coaching and administering days of Ron at Seaforth youth cricket club. Over many summers he would be seen running training sessions with youngsters at Balgowlah oval nets.
Ron’s passion for Manly Warringah and cricket was with him to his last days.
Mike Pawley, OAM
Ron Watkins (centre) recieving his Manly Warringah Junior Cricket Association Life Membership in 2008