Legendary NSW cricket coach John McMahon has been remembered as a humble human of the “highest integrity”.
McMahon has passed away at the age of 91 after a lifetime devoted to cricket as a player, a coach, and an administrator.
Incredibly, the much-loved figure played his first game of cricket in 1943 at the age of 9, and would appear in his last game at the age of 79 in 2011.
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He was so well regarded he was recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List in 2008, and had also received the Order of Australia medal (OAM) for services to cricket.
NSW Cricket issued a statement following McMahon’s death in Brisbane, saying the cricket community was in mourning.
McMahon was a NSW Cricket Association Life Member and also a life member of the Lismore District Cricket Association, Far North Coast Cricket Council, North Coastal Cricket Zone, Country Cricket NSW and the NSW Cricket Association.
John McMahon has been remembered as a human of the ‘highest integrity’. Credit: Cricket NSW
He was was born in Sydney in 1932 before he moved to Lismore to work as a journalist in the 1950s.
NSW Cricket described him as more than a handy cricketer with his deadly left-arm wrist spin.
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He played for eight seasons for Balmain in the Sydney Grade competition, including one full season of First Grade cricket. He took a whopping 210 wickets for the club. NSW Cricket said he made “an immediate impact on the country cricket scene in NSW” (after his move to Lismore) and he also played in the Brisbane competition where he earned two Sheffield Shield caps for Queensland.
McMahon played 32 seasons of First Grade cricket in Lismore, had 18 seasons with Marist Brothers, and 14 with Western Districts.
In a jaw-dropping stat, he took five wickets or more in 75 innings for Marist Brothers and his total number of five-wicket hauls for his various is teams is over 120. During that time McMahon was also heavily involved as a coach and administrator.
NSW Cricket said McMahon and his wife Joan “were deeply affected by the Lismore flood disaster in 2022” and moved to Brisbane where he sadly passed away.
Cricket NSW CEO Lee Germon said McMahon’s passing would leave a void that would be hard to fill. “John was the humblest of men, understated, strong and of the highest integrity,” Germon said. “He cared deeply for cricket and our people, as evidenced by his lifelong commitment to the game as a player and volunteer, and will be sadly missed for generations to come. “I know I speak for many, many people within the cricket community in offering our deepest condolences to Joan, the McMahon family and all of those whose life John has impacted.” McMahon is survived by his wife, Joan, and their eight children and many grandkids. Three of John and Joan’s children – Terry, Brian and Michael – played first grade cricket in Sydney.