Bowled over by the Don
SIR: The Old Un’s comments about Don Bradman brought to mind one of my boyhood’s most treasured moments. The Don had made up his mind to retire from active playing on his 40th birthday, 27th August 1948. Though he led ‘the opposition’, he was my hero and this event demanded commemoration. At the age of 13, my pocket money was one shilling per week (already spent). I pinched one of my father’s golf balls and sent it to Mr Don Bradman, c/o Lord’s Cricket Ground, with my greetings.
Within a few days I received back a letter with the MCC logo at the top. It was handwritten by Bradman himself. He thanked me charmingly for the gift and enclosed a sheet containing all the Australian team’s autographs. The letter – a priceless memento – was pasted into the front of Pelham Warner’s book about Lord’s, where from time to time it has been lovingly re-read.
I have passed it on to my cricketloving son for safe-keeping as the one family heirloom worth preserving.
The recently published book Bradman’s War, by Malcolm Knox, mentions the gift and the Don’s response. The only minor fly in the ointment is that, because of the ambiguity of my name, he may have thought I was a girl. Sandy Macnab, Stowmarket, Suffolk