Proudly Sponsored by
Items : 0
Subtotal : $0.00
View CartCheck Out
Proudly Sponsored by
Items : 0
Subtotal : $0.00
View CartCheck Out

Waratahs in History – David Patterson

The final Howzat Building Waratahs in History Q & A for the 2023/2024 season is with club legend David “Patto” Patterson. David played 8 seasons for the Tahs from 1979/1980 to 1996/1997 scoring over 4000 runs for the club. David captained and shaped some of the best talent throughout his career at Manly. David’s last season with the club in 2010/2011 was part of the coaching team. That year saw Manly win the 3rd & 5th Grade premierships. The first time we won two premierships in 1 year! David is a Super coach and has many great achievements under his belt throughout his career.

I hope you enjoy one of the best reads of the season with a bit of history of our club. We look forward to creating some more memories with our 4 teams in the Grand Finals this weekend!

How did your love of cricket come about as a child?

It started in 1972. The Ashes were being played in England and I used to sit at the kitchen table in the evening with my dad listening to the ABC radio coverage with Alan McGillivray. Keith Stackpole opened the batting and became my first favourite player.

Who were your cricket heroes growing up?

The Chappell brothers were up there, along with Rod Marsh, Dennis Lillee and Jeff Thomson. I was privileged to later work with Greg, Rod and Dennis in my coaching roles with Cricket NSW and Cricket Australia.

Tell us a bit about your junior journey on your way to playing at Manly?

Grew up in Bayview, went to Mona Vale Primary School and then Pittwater High School. Not much cricket played there as we were a big sailing and surfing school. I didn’t play cricket until I was 13 at the end Year 7. Before that I played junior tennis. I played junior cricket for Newport Cricket Club and then Palm Beach RSL. Both clubs are now long defunct as Peninsula CC covers the northern end of the beaches.

You debuted for the Waratahs in 1978/79 at the tender age of 15. What do you remember about your grade debut?

It was a 4th grade match at Graham Reserve. Tom Spencer was our captain. There was no 5th grade at that point. I think the 5th grade comp started the following season. I remember batting with Richard Weekes and scoring 20 something.

Who were some of the well-known cricketers who you came through the system with, and who was the best player coming through the Manly ranks during your juniors?

I played in the same junior age group as Andrew Fraser, Steve Colby, Steve Johnson, Greg Pierce, Steve Storey and Phil Blake. So Frase can’t get away with lying about his age as I have the proof! We came through to grade as 15 year olds.
Steve Storey was the best player in our age group. He moved to Queensland and subsequently played 20 first class matches for Queensland. Steve Johnson and Steve Colby both became good 1st grade players. Phil Blake was pretty good too, but he debuted for the Sea Eagles at 18, scored 27 tries the next season and played in the 1982 and 1983 grand finals. We didn’t see him after that!

What are your memories of the club as you were coming through the grades? Both on and off the field?

It was a different time back in the late 1970’s, early 1980’s when I came through. No internet, no mobile phones, no social media. Everyone got to the Room At the Top (RATT) asap after their match for a drink and to find out how all the other teams went. If teams were playing at Penrith or Campbelltown it may have been a couple of hours wait (no M1, M2 or M7 freeways then either) to find out a result. If you were lucky there may have been a landline at some the other grounds to call to get a score/result.
Otherwise, it was waiting for the sound of the Sunday newspaper hitting the driveway to race out an get the paper to check the scores for all the matches and see how teams from other Clubs fared who you were competing with for a potential finals berth. Sometimes scores were rung in, sometimes not, so often it would be Tuesday before you saw an updated table in the newspaper.
Practice facilities consisted of three not so good synthetic nets at Graham Reserve. This was eventually expanded to six not so good synthetic nets. We then progressed to some horrendous turf pitches in the far south west corner of the ground where fast bowlers like Steve Bartlett would try to kill you off about 15 yards. It was a relief when you arrived at practice on a Tuesday or Thursday to find it had rained and that only the synthetic nets were available for use!

Who drove the standards at the club during your playing time?

Initially as a youngster coming to grade in the late 1970’s the standards were set by Tom Spencer, Jim Stewart and Ron Holmes. All three were great mentors. Later as they became senior players, Craig Glassock and Shawn Bradstreet took those standards to the next level.
When Alan Campbell became club coach in the late 1980’s he brought a level of professionalism and a “no excuses” philosophy that made us the best club in Sydney.

Off field, Gary Flowers, Andrew Fraser and David Gainsford have ensured the governance of the Club has been top shelf for the past three decades. As they say in sport “success starts with the front office” and they have all done a brilliant job over many years leading from the front.

Your top score was 109 in 1982/83, what do you remember about that innings?

It was the first match of the season v’s UNSW at David Phillips Field, so great to start the season with a century. Greg Pierce and I shared a double century opening stand, which was a 4th grade club record at that time. It was also Brad Pamp’s debut for the club.

What do you consider the best innings from yourself?

It was a 3rd grade match at Graham Reserve. It was last match of the season, and we needed to beat North Sydney to make the semi-finals. We were 4 for not many early, then Tim Blank and I put on a good partnership. I finished 80 not out and we won the match. Unfortunately, we lost to Randwick in the semis the following week.

What do you think your strength was as a cricketer?

I always competed. I was a cricketer of limited ability but am proud that I always gave it my best every moment of every match that I played for Manly.

Who was the best Captain you played with and why?

Tough question as I played under many good captains. Gary Flowers was probably the best as he always stayed calm and in control, regardless of the match situation. To captain a team to an undefeated premiership, as he did with the 3rd grade in 1987/88, is a fantastic achievement.

Who was the best player at Manly that you played with?

Three names come to mind. I had the privilege to play with Craig Glassock and Shawn Bradstreet as they made their way through the ranks from promising Manly juniors to first class players for NSW. Brian Clemow, who was the best youth player in Australia at that time. I got to open the batting with him in 2nd, 3rd and 4th grade.

Who was someone that you loved to captain that you loved seeing succeed?

Shawn Bradstreet. He made the most of every ounce of his abilities, overcoming some serious stress fractures as a teenager.
I used to love opening the batting with both Steve Glassock and Andrew Brenner. We clicked both on and off the field.

What is the best innings you saw at Manly from a fellow player?

I didn’t play the match that Brian Clemow made 287 not out, so I am sure there are plenty of others who will be able to recall that day.
For me, it was a 2nd grade match at Bankstown Oval. Bankstown set us 180 odd off 28 overs to win. Against a quality attack that included Nathan Bracken and David Freedman, Brendon Shoebridge scored 127 not out off around 70 balls. I can still vividly remember one Nathan Bracken bouncer that Brendon hit over the pavilion and onto Chapel Road. We won easily with a couple of overs to spare.

What is your most memorable moment at the Club?

I was part of the coaching staff in my last season with the club in 2010/11 before moving to Canada. We won both the 3rd and 5th Grade premierships that season as well as making the 1st grade L/O final. It was the first time in the Club’s history we had one two premierships in the same season and the celebrations were epic. It is brilliant that we have done it three times since.

Who was the funniest player you played with at Manly and why? Do you have any clean stories you could share with us?

Had to be Glen Evans. He just played to a different tune than the rest of us. Best (clean) story was at the start of one season, he opened his kit bag to the aroma of a BBQ chicken that had been in there since the end of the previous season.
Another funny story that comes to mind is when we played Sutherland at Sutherland Oval. Our opening bowler Paul Robinson walked all the way out to the centre to bat and went to take guard from the umpire. At this point, he realized that he hadn’t taken his bat out to the middle with him. He called for someone to bring out his bat, but that wasn’t going to happen. So… he had to walk all the way back to the pavilion to get his bat and then walk all the way back to the middle again, whilst the other 21 players, umpires and scorers all had tears of laughter running down their cheeks!
A funny story not commonly known revolves around the Prime Minister’s XI v Australia Indigenous team match, which the Club hosted at Manly Oval in 1988. The match was part of Australia’s bicentennial celebrations and preparation for the Indigenous team’s upcoming England tour. The then Prime Minister Bob Hawke captained his own team which included amongst others Doug Walters, Max Walker, Clive Lloyd and a couple of youthful tear away quicks in Warren Evans and Simon Waddington. Our own Bert Pearce was part of the Indigenous team (and took the wicket of the PM!). My role on the day was as the dressing room attendant for the PM’s team and one of my main responsibilities was getting both teams to sign the commemorative bats and the PM to sign the match balls. No problem with the bats, but getting Bob Hawke to sign the balls couldn’t be done until after the match, and he was proving elusive as everyone wanted a minute of his time. Eventually, the room quietened down, everyone showered and changed. So… the only time I could get Bob Hawke to sign the match balls was when he wasn’t wearing a stitch of clothing after getting out of the shower. Now I am sure there a lot of people in this world that have got the autograph of various Australian Prime Ministers, but I think I might be the only one who has done so when they were stark naked!

Best Nick Name?

Plenty of good ones – Matt “Loose” Cranney, Glen “Trunk” Evans, Matthew “Mario” Phelps, Greg “Malta” Hayes, Gary “Storky” Flowers, Phil “Skid” Marks, Gary “Landcom’ Holmes & Tim “Shooota” Blank.

What does your life involve now, and do you keep abreast of how the Waratahs are faring?

I have lived in Toronto Canada for the past 12 years with my wife Jan and son Morgan. Still involved with cricket over here, coaching at Club level with the Toronto Cricket Skating and Curling Club and this season with the Brampton Wolves in the GT20 Canada.
GT20 is a great tournament for the development of cricket here as it brings world class players to Canada. Our team this season included Tim Southee, Colin De Grandhomme and Chris Green, whilst others to play in the tournament included Chis Lynn, Andre Russell, Shaikh Al Hasan, Mohammad Rizwan, Reeza Hendricks and Colin Munro.
I follow all the Waratah scores every week. First thing I do when I get up on Saturday mornings (Toronto is 14-16 hours behind Sydney) is to check all the scores and individual performances for all the teams.

What are some of your predictions for Manly in 2023 /2024?

The Club looks in a brilliant place at the moment, so hopefully a premiership or two to go with the two Club Championships already won.

Do you ever see yourself getting back involved in the club in the future?

Tough when you live on the other side of the world, but I still stay in touch with lifetime friends such as David Ford, Shawn Bradstreet, Simon Couch and Tim Cruickshank. Any time I get back home for a holiday, I always make sure I get down to Manly Oval to catch up and watch some cricket.