Dad Weir – One of World’s Oldest Test Cricketer

One of the world’s oldest Test cricketers dies in Auckland, Gordon Lindsay’s Dad Weir, who was the world’s oldest surviving Test cricketer at 95 years and 151 days. Dad Weir died on October 31, 2003, in Auckland after being in declining health over the last 12 months.
Dad Weir, who was never known as Gordon but always as “Dad” for reasons he never disclosed, was first selected for New Zealand’s second Test against the touring MCC team of 1929–30. A right-hand batsman and an occasional right-arm medium-pacer toured England with the New Zealand teams in 1931 and 1937. Both tours were a disappointment for him. Although he scored 1,035 runs in 1931, it was only a mere average of 25.87
During the next few years, he was a leading batsman on the New Zealand scene but went into sufficient decline to be dropped from the side for the 1935–36 series against the MCC. However, he recovered and was included in the team to tour England in 1937, where he scored 893 runs at 26.26. His highest Test score was an unbeaten 74 against South Africa in the first Test of the series in New Zealand.
Dad Weir played 11 Tests overall, scoring 416 runs at an average of 29.71. While by modern standards it represents only a few series, he played at a time when New Zealand had very few matches, often going two or three seasons without an official Test. Gordon Lindsay played 107 first-class matches, scoring 5,022 runs at an average of 32.19, including 10 centuries.
Like many New Zealanders of that time, he also played representative rugby, making nine first-class appearances for Auckland, mainly at fly-half. Basically, he was a schoolteacher. Weir taught at Auckland’s Mt Albert Grammar School and for many years, was the selector-coach of the Auckland Brabin Cup side. This is an annual tournament played between junior sides from the four major associations. That was later extended to include the Central and Northern Districts, proving a significant stepping stone for many players who went on to international cricket.
In more years, Weir was one of the most venerated members of the band of former players who regularly gathered as the guests of New Zealand Cricket for major matches played at Eden Park. In October 2001, Weir became the oldest surviving Test cricketer in the world following the death in England of fast bowler Alf Gover.
Dad Weir was born on June 2, 1908, making him 93 years old. Weir was twice dismissed by Gover during the 1937 tour, once against Alf Gover’s Surrey County side and once in the third Test, the only Test Weir played on that tour. However, Dad Weir missed one Test, playing in New Zealand’s first official Test match against the 1929–30 MCC side on its tour of New Zealand.
He was called into the second test and scored 3 and 21 in the drawn match. He won his selection after making an outstanding start to his first-class career, which he began as a 19-year-old. New Zealand’s players only had three first-class matches a season if there was no touring team, and in his second season, he scored the first of 10 first-class centuries, 106 not out, against Otago.
Lindsay Weir
It was his second century, 105 against Canterbury, in the 1929–30 seasons that were directly responsible for his Test selection. In the following summer, he made up for a first-inning duck and scored centuries against Canterbury and Wellington to assure himself of inclusion in the 1931 side to England under the captaincy of Tom Lowry.
Dad Weir completed his 1,000 runs on tour, but overall his average of 25.87 was lower than he might have expected and was the result of not being able to score as freely as he liked to in the foreign conditions.
He played all three Tests but only managed 96 runs at 24.00. However, he prospered when returning home. His 74 not out against South Africa on its 1931-32 tour of New Zealand was his highest score in a career that saw him score 416 runs at 29.71. The highest score of his first-class career was 191 against Auckland in 1935–36.
A useful medium-pace bowler, he took seven Test wickets, with his best being 3-38 against England in the first Test at Lord’s when he opened the bowling with Ian Cromb. On the 1937 tour of England, he scored 893 runs at 26.26. By the end of his first-class career in 1946–47, he had scored 5,022 runs at 32.19 and had 107 wickets at 37.35. He had been a regular visitor to Eden Park for Test matches ever since.
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