Pioneering is part of who we are. That’s why each Ryman village is named after a Kiwi or Aussie trailblazer. Anthony Wilding, Lady Diana Isaac, Evelyn Page to name a few. They lived with passion and purpose, they pushed further, they went beyond the ordinary. That’s exactly what we strive to do every day at Ryman. To pioneer a new way of living, for a new retirement generation.
Bert Sutcliffe (1923-2001)
One of the greatest cricket batsmen produced by New Zealand, Bert Sutcliffe, will forever be remembered for orchestrating one of the bravest innings of all time.
Boxing Day, South Africa, 1953. A mid-test ball struck Bert behind the left ear with a crack heard around the stadium. Initially unconscious, Bert was rushed to hospital while remaining batsmen continued to be injured by Neil Adcock’s fiery bouncers. Cleared of any fracture and with a bleeding but bandaged head Bert returned and resumed batting. He put 50 runs on the board averting a follow-on that would have proven disastrous for the embattled New Zealand team. Just as the innings appeared to be over, Bob Blair who was mourning his fiancée’s recent passing appeared in the tunnel. Bert remembers “you could have heard a pin drop”. The duo heroically added 33 runs for the final wicket.
While none of his 42 tests resulted in a New Zealand victory, Bert was resolute in the face of adversity. Bert received an MBE for his services to sport and was named New Zealand champion sportsperson of the decade for the 1940s. New Zealand Cricket awards the Bert Sutcliffe Medal annually for outstanding service to cricket in New Zealand over a lifetime.
Bert’s memoir Between Overs: Memoirs of a Cricketing Kiwi was published in 1963, two years shy of his retirement from test cricket. His biography The Last Everyday Hero: The Bert Sutcliffe Story by Richard Boock and published in 2010.