Rare coloured footage of Bradman playing found

don bradman rare photo

don bardman cricket

The only known colour film of Sir Donald Bradman playing cricket was discovered in a gift to the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia (NFSA). The donor had no idea what he had.

The 16-mm footage was shot by George Hobbs. He worked in the Department of Information as a cameraman during the Second World War and later worked for ABC TV. Hobbs’ son Adrian donated the footage to NFSA in a package marked “Manly and Bondi Beach, Sydney, 1949”.

don bradman in color

The senior curational officer of the NFSA, Jeffrey Ray, said that he only discovered the footage of Don Bradman when the footage was being assessed for technical issues.

He said, “It was just fascinating that it came in and the donor had no idea that it actually contained Don Bradman footage.”

“The feeling is quite amazing because it really is unexpected and to get something that really shows someone of such significance as Sir Donald Bradman in colour and doing what he does best — playing cricket in the middle — is just a very special sort of feeling.”

“You can’t believe it really, because you’ve been, I guess, conditioned over life to believe everything was black [and white] over that period of time.”

don bradman

The footage was shot on February 1949, when Sir Donald Bradman played his second-last first-class innings at the Sydney Cricket Ground. He was 40 at the time and was recently knighted. One year before the film was taken, Bradman was bowled for a second-ball duck against England at the Oval.

The footage showed Bradman walking to the crease in front of 41,000 people. He scored 53 runs in the first 65 minutes of the game before he was caught out of the bowling by his old teammate Kieth Miller. He did not bat in the second innings.

Widely regarded as the best batter of all time, the Australian averaged a mammoth 99.99 in Test cricket.