b. 22-Apr-1909 | d. 22-Jul-1997
Jack Ledward made his debut for Richmond’s senior team in 1927-28 but could manage only 8 games in his first 3 seasons. It was not until 1931-32 that he began to show the outstanding ability that would remain on display until his retirement in 1949.
His right hand batting was exciting but smooth; he appeared to see the ball early. The club record 7,645 runs that flowed from his bat over 228 games produced another record 14 centuries, a Club Championship and 7 batting awards, also a club record. Jack’s involvement in cricket administration, an area he would excel in after his exceptional playing career concluded, began when he was elected to the Richmond Committee in 1934.
During the middle 30s his consistent scoring was rewarded with Victorian selection and in 22 state games he scored a handy 1,156 runs at an average of 38.53. An all-round sportsman he was also selected to play for Victoria at baseball.
In 1938-39 he scored a Richmond club record season tally of 833 runs at an average of nearly 60, club records fell left and right.
In 1942 he was award Life Membership and appointed club captain, maintaining that position until his retirement. The long awaited first premiership for Richmond arrived in 1946-47 and it was the captain Jack Ledward who showed the way by scoring an impressive 718 runs in that V.C.A Club Championship season. Jack was not alive when he was selected as captain of the Tigers Team of the Century, but would have been proud to captain his beloved Richmond into hypothetical battle against similar elevens from the other district clubs.
In 1947 Jack was appointed the Richmond Cricket Club Delegate to the V.C.A. at the age of 42, and employment as Secretary of the V.C.A. followed in 1951. His efficient management skills saw him hold that position until 1973. Something that is hard to imagine happened in 1954 when he was also appointed secretary of the Australian Cricket Board. For the next six years he was running both organisations until he found the work so demanding the A.C.B. position was relinquished, but still he maintained his V.C.A. administrative role until his retirement.
Upon the sad passing of club president Nelson Cox in 1980, Jack Ledward ever ready to support the club took on the President’s role and held the chair for three years. When he relinquished that honour in 1983 he was appointed a Patron of the club.
Not only has Jack Ledward been inducted into Richmond’s 2009 Inaugural Hall of Fame group, but he has also been awarded the highest honour of being the club’s first Immortal.