On March 4thth Brunswick paid tribute to club legend John 'Nookie' Swanson with a dinner attended by over 200 members and guests at the Callabria Club. John had an illustrious cricket career with Brunswick, Essendon and Victoria as well as playing baseball for Australia.
A panel of 'experts' who had played with John spoke of his outstanding achievements as well as some humorous tales.
The panel included Col Kinnear, Tom O'Neil, Blair Hillhouse, Mick McMahon, Greg Brown, Kenny Laker, Neil Buszard and Eddie Illingworth.
A brief synopsis of Johns life in sport:
John "Nookie" Swanson was a local Brunswick boy who started at Brunswick Cricket Club in 1955/56 aged 14. He started in the fourths, but reached the firsts by the next season.
At age 20 he moved to Essendon where he played 123 first eleven matches during 11 seasons from 1962/63. He played 29 matches for Victoria between 1965/66 and 1969/70. He was a left arm orthodox spinner and a very capable batsman. One of his five grand finals for Essendon (two of which were successful) was the famous defeat by Northcote when Bill Lawry made an inspired 282 no.
After moving back to Brunswick in 1974/75, Nookie played a further 18 seasons in the first eleven, which included three premierships and a championship win. In the 1987/88 championship final, John made 100 and took a vital wicket near the end as Brunswick dismissed Altona to win by 15 runs. He won the JL Seelemeyer Trophy for Best Player of the final.
John Swanson's record at Brunswick:
- 273 1st XI games
- 7107 runs @ 30.24
- 10x100's and 28x50's
- 311 wickets @17.03
- 7 batting averages
- 2 bowling averages
- 11 club championships
- BCC life member
- 1976/77 Hatch Medalist
- Member of the VSDCA 200 Games Club