Skip to main content

Edward Trickett

1851 – 1916

Edward 'Ned' Trickett (1851 - 1916), sculler and hotelier, was the best sculler in New South Wales by 1875. Taken to England by James Punch, an innkeeper from Sydney, he won the world championship on the Thames in June 1876 to become the first Australian world champion in any sport. On his return to Sydney he was greeted by 25 000 people. In June 1877 he retained his championship against Michael Rush, a fellow Australian, on the Parramatta river, with some 50 000 spectators in attendance. During a period as licensee of Trickett's Hotel and later the International Hotel on the corner of King and Pitt streets, he suffered a crushed hand when a keg rolled onto him; he is said to have amputated his own finger. After one more world championship win in August 1879 he entered onto a series of losses in the early 1880s, when William Beach was the coming man. In all Trickett amassed than 150 trophies; his image was reproduced on cigarette cards and his achievements were noted in verse and song. He moved to Rockhampton, where he ran the Oxford Hotel, but returned to Sydney where he worked in various low-level government jobs. A Salvationist and a teetotaller, of magnificent size and appearance, he had eight sons and three daughters. While visiting one of his sons at Uralla, he died from injuries sustained when a mineshaft fell in on him. His friends and admirers paid for a marble monument standing ten and a half feet high over his grave in Uralla, inscribed '... a man justly honoured by all who knew him, as a noble type of sportsman, and an equally noble type of citizen.'

Updated 2018