Unique colour footage of Don Bradman found after 71 years

Don Bradman

Melbourne:  A unique, colour footage of Donald Bradman — considered to be the greatest batsman of all time — has been released by the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia (NFSA).

The vision, available on the NFSA website, shows Bradman striding onto the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) during a testimonial match between AF Kippax and WA Oldfield on February 26, 1949.

This 16mm colour footage is assumed to have been shot by George Hobbs, who had worked as a cameraperson for the Department of Information during the Second World War and later for ABC TV, said the NFSA.

The 66-second video is silent but shows a bustling crowd of about 41,000 that filled the SCG on a sunny Saturday to watch Bradman play his last game at the ground.

While it is said that Bradman’s last test series was in England in 1948, according to NFSA, he also played in three testimonial matches after that tour: his own testimonial match at the Melbourne Cricket Ground in December 1948 (a tied match in which Bradman scored his last first-class century), the Kippax-Oldfield testimonial match at the SCG in February 1949 and his final first-class match in a Sheffield Shield game in Adelaide for South Australia against Victoria.

In a career that spanned over almost 20 years, Bradman played 52 Test matches for Australia in which he scored 6,996 runs at an unbelievable average of 99.94. He scored 29 hundreds in his stellar career and even got the recognition of being called as ‘Sir’ Don Bradman.