Sports Max

Contact Information

The Max Walker Co.
PO Box 5135 Burnley, Victoria
3121, Australia
Tel: 0417 363 433

Max Walker

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Max was one of a select group of sportsmen who played both Senior VFL/AFL Football and Test Cricket. He played 94 senior games with the Melbourne Football Club and 13 years of first class cricket with Victoria and Australia.

In the words of Christopher Martin-Jenkins, BBC and ABC cricket commentator and author.

“A cheerful Tasmanian, Max Walker moved to the mainland to further his cricket and Australian Rules Football careers and broke through as Victoria’s main strike bowler in 1972/3, the year which also saw his emergence as a Test-class bowler.”

Six foot four, pigeon-chested and thoroughly revelling in the hard work of bowling, he bowled right arm ‘off the wrong foot’ at fast-medium pace, usually swinging the ball into the bat with an open-chested delivery but also getting the ball to cut sharply away from the batsman in the manner of Alec Bedser.

He was also a willing and determined batsman who played some highly effective and important innings against England in 1974/5. As a fielder he was relatively ponderous by modern Test standards but his hands were safe, as befitted a noted jumper and catcher on the football field.

After two home Tests against Pakistan, in the second of which he took 6 for 15 in the second innings to bowl Australia to victory at Sydney, ‘Tanglefoot’, as he was nicknamed as a result of his criss-crossing feet in the pre-delivery stride went on to surpass Lillee and Massie in the Caribbean, taking 26 wickets (20.73) in the series and 41 (20.48) on the tour.

Outstanding figures on pitches which gave him little help.

He was tirelessly hostile and enthusiastic.

At home against England in 1974/5 he played third fiddle to Lillee and Thomson, but was nonetheless vital to the success of Australia, for he ensured that the England batsmen should be allowed no respite.

In the six Tests he took 23 wickets (29.73) including 8 for 143 in England’s first innings of 529 when, minus Lillee and Thomson, Walker had the stage to himself.

In England he was less successful taking 14 wickets (34.71) in 1975 and again 14 wickets (39.35) in 1977.