Notable People of Collingwood

Collingwood Notables Database

John (Jack) Ryder


Cricketer, administrator, selector

Personal Photo 1

For years whenever locals referred to the ‘King of Collingwood’ they meant only one person, Australian cricketer, Jack Ryder, the only Collingwood man to captain the Australian Test team. 

Ryder, son of a carpenter, was born in Collingwood on August 8, 1889. After attending the Lithgow Street State School he started work at 14 as an apprentice at Thomas Davies’ shoe-making firm in Fitzroy. He was promoted to storeman and then salesman before becoming a senior representative at another footwear manufacturer, Whybrow and Co. Pty Ltd in Abbotsford. He married Fanny Douglas Smith at the Cairns Memorial Church in East Melbourne in June 1916 and the young couple settled in Dally Street Clifton Hill. He lost his job during the Depression, but after the war he became an inspector of boots on (Sir) Robert Menzies’ recommendation.  Later he was a stores clerk with Australian Motor Industries Co. Hawthorn.

In 1906 he began playing for the Collingwood Cricket Club in the new district competition. He was associated with the Collingwood Cricket Club for 71 years as player (until 1943), coach, official and selector. At 188 cm tall and strongly built, he soon established himself as a forcing middle-order batsman and fine medium-pace bowler. He made his debut for Victoria in 1912. His Test career began in 1920 and he played in four series against England and one against South Africa.  He played 20 Tests scoring 1,394 runs at a batting average of 51.62. He also took 17 wickets. In all first-class matches he made 10,499 runs at an average of 44.29 and took 237 wickets. His best performance was an innings of 201 not out against England, made in six and half hours at Adelaide in 1924–25.

In 1926–27, he made his highest first-class score of 295 (in four hours) for Victoria against New South Wales, in a world record team total of 1,107. Ryder smashed six sixes, including two in three balls, and was out attempting to hit another six to bring up his triple century. For over 50 years after his retirement, he held the record for games played and runs scored in Melbourne District Cricket.

As Test captain, he was on the selection panel for the 1930 Ashes tour of England, but was out-voted for a place on the team. This created a public furore and 800 people attended a protest meeting at the Collingwood Town Hall. The Prime Minister, Mr Scullin, sent his apologies. Ryder, however, maintained his dignity and refused offers to cover the tour as a journalist.

In 1946, he was made a selector again and held the post for 23 years. He was appointed M.B.E. in 1958. In 1973 the Victorian Cricket Association instituted the Jack Ryder Medal for the outstanding player of the season in Melbourne Premier Cricket.

He led the parade of former Australian Test players at the England-Australia Centenary Match in Melbourne in March 1977. Survived by his wife, and their daughter and son, he died on 3 April that year at Fitzroy and was cremated.

House Photo 1

104 Park Street

Life Summary

Birth Date Birth Place
8 August 1889 Collingwood
Spouse Name Date of Marriage Children
Fanny Douglas Smith 1916 John Thomas (Tom); May Doris
Home Addresses
Home Street Home City Status of Building
113 Cromwell Street Collingwood Demolished
128 Islington Street Collingwood Demolished
104 Park Street Abbotsford Extant
50 Dally Street Clifton Hill Extant
Church Lodge
Death Date Death Place Cemetery
3 April 1977 Fitzroy

Fiddian, A life-long innings: the Jack Ryder story.
ADB John Ryder 

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