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Thomas Wentworth Wills

In their own words

Thomas Wentworth Wills
Audio: 2 minutes

Now that cricket has been put aside for some few months to come, and cricketers have assumed somewhat of the chrysalis nature (for a time only 'tis true), but at length again will burst forth in all their varied hues, rather than allow this state of torpor to creep over them, and stifle their new supple limbs, why can they not, I say, form a foot-ball club, and form a committee of three or more to draw up a code of laws? If a club of this sort were got up, it would be of vast benefit to any cricket-ground to be trampled upon, and would make the turf quite firm and durable; besides which it would keep those who are inclined to become stout from having their joints encased in useless superabundant flesh. If it is not possible to form a foot-ball club, why should not these young men who have adopted this new-born country for their motherland, why I say, do not they form themselves into a rifle club, so at any-rate they may someday be called upon to aid their adopted land against a tyrant's band, that may someday 'pop' upon us when we least expect a foe at our very doors. Surely our young cricketers are not afraid of the crack of a rifle, when they face so courageously the leathern sphere, and it would disgrace no one to learn in time to defend his country and his hearth. A firm heart, a steady hand, and a quick eye, are all that are requisite and, with practice, all these may be attained. Trusting that someone will take up the matter, and form either of the above clubs, or, at any rate, some athletic games.

Acknowledgements

Wills Thomas Wentworth (1858) Letter to Bells Life in Victoria and Sporting Chronicle, 10 July 1858, Melbourne

Attribution

Voiced by Patrick Galen-Mules

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Thomas Wentworth Wills

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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders past and present. We respectfully advise that this site includes works by, images of, names of, voices of and references to deceased people.

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