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Name:Maddocks, Leonard Victor
Date of Birth:24 May 1926 (d 27 August 2016)
Career:1942-43 to 1972-73
Teams:North Melbourne
Matches:237
Batting Style:RHB
  

 

A wicket-keeper and handy right-hand batsman, Maddocks was destined for a distinguished career from the time he headed to North Melbourne in 1942 to break into the seniors at 16. Despite being transferred to Tasmania with his accounting job in 1961, he returned to resume at North Melbourne and played until the age of 46. When he finally pulled stumps, he boasted a club aggregate games record of 237 matches.

He also boasted the most victims with 369 (260 caught, 109 stumped) and a season high of 49 (34 caught, 15 stumped) in 1943/44.

Maddocks also was an excellent administrator. From 1970 he became a delegate to the VCA. He was treasurer from 1972 to 1983 and a member of the ACB for 10 years from 1973. He also was a Victorian and Australian selector in the early 1980s and in 1977 he managed the Australian team to England. He was for some time president of North Melbourne.

His young brother Dick played 224 games with North Melbourne, and also played 21 games for Victoria. He returned an average of 40.9 for the state. He died in 1968, aged only 40. He was a delegate to the VCA for four years.

Len’s son Ian, a wicker-keeper like his father, continued the family tradition at North. He played 144 games between 1970/71 and 1982/83 before a 32 match stint at Prahran. He also had 22 state games between 1977 and 1982, claiming 84 victims.

In the fifth round of the 1970/71 season, Len, 44, and Ian, 19, played together for North. Ian kept wickets and Len played as a batsman. They were the first father-son combination in District First XI since Keith Stackpole and his son represented Collingwood in 1955. It was Keith senior’s last game and Keith junior’s first.

Len Maddocks stepped down from his cricket administrative posts in 1983.

He chaired the VCA development committee for several years and the results included Ringwood and Waverley being included into the District competition in 1974/75.

He had considerable involvement in two historic events of the 1970s, the Centenary Test and the World Series Cricket dispute.

Len Maddocks played 66 games for Victoria from 1946/47, 13 of them as captain. He was a virtual back-up for Gil Langley at national level, touring the West Indies (1955), England (1956), India (1956) and New Zealand (1959/60). He played in only seven Tests.

He continued playing interstate cricket until 1967/68, captaining Tasmania when well into his 40s. He notched up 112 first-class games, claiming 277 wickets and making 4106 runs at the respectable average of 32.84. He scored five of his six first-class centuries for Victoria.

Maddocks recalls the efforts he and brother Dick made to become polished cricketers. “Dick and I would stay at training at North Melbourne for two or three hours after everyone else finished. We would run up and down the old grandstand steps in our pads, and between wickets for running practice. Then we would catch the train to Newport, run a mile with our Gladstone bags, and arrive home about 10.00pm for dinner, which mum always had piping hot for us. After that we spread out our school books on the table and did our homework. They were great days as teenagers. Dad was absolutely sports crazy and he encouraged all of us.

”The Maddocks family was famous in the Newport area, where we boys played cricket on matting. We all rode bikes and it must have been a sight to see dad, Alan, me, Dick and mum at the rear riding in single file to cricket and footy matches. Mum, who helped with the afternoon teas, said she always tagged along because if she didn't she would never know if she would see us again.”

Apart of the movies or a trip into town, entertainment was limited when Maddocks was growing up. “I was the barman at North Melbourne for seven years, from the time I started at 16 until I had my first drink at 23. I had my first drink on my young brother Dick’s 21st birthday. Dad took my older brother Alan, me and Dick to Young & Jackson’s Hotel and we had a beer. He then took us to the Tivoli where, heavens forbid, there were unclothed women on stage!”

“We at North Melbourne had a special affinity with Fitzroy, which culminated in the Illingworth-Maddocks trophy fought out between the two clubs. This started in most unusual circumstances. One day at Fitzroy, Dick was captain of North and Bill Jacobs was captain of Fitzroy and they argued all day and almost came to blows.

”At stumps, Dick said he had better go in for a drink with Bill, which the boys did. As the night wore on, everyone bought fish and chips and headed to Dick’s new house in Sunshine where the Fitzroy-North Melbourne drinking competition continued until five in the morning. At one stage Dick and Bill were on what was to be Dick’s new front lawn, hitting golf balls down the street. From that moment on, Eddie Illingworth and Dick Maddocks were drinking buddies. And that is how the Illingworth-Maddocks trophy came to be.”

Maddocks recalls that fielding was not nearly as proficient as it is in the modern era. In fact, he as wicketkeeper was the most popular bloke on the paddock. “There were not many blokes who enjoyed chasing the ball in my early days. When I started at North Melbourne, there was a rush to stand at first slip so the lucky bloke didn’t have to chase. Even in Sheffield Shield cricket, it was a good spot. Ian Johnson could not catch with his left hand. So he would stand close enough so he didn’t have to take a risk on a left-handed catch.”

Maddocks believes cricket was tougher in his days. “The competition was intense, with all 12 clubs having 11 good players. Today, with 18 teams, I think instead of 11 good players there may be only eight or so in each team, simply because of the spread of talent. Uncovered wickets taught you so much, too.” 

Maddocks said he never intended to be a long-term treasurer of the VCA. “I became treasurer in 1972 when Ray Steele asked me to step in while he managed the Australian team to England. I was treasurer for 11 years and learned a lesson about delegation.”

 


Batting
InningsN.O.RunsBatting AvgHigh Score50s100s
279 36609525.08157277

Bowling
RunsWicketsBowling AvgBest5wi10wmCt/St
 108336.001/17  260/109