Bruce Rugby's gallery    


Phoebe Whiteside, Bill's mother                                  Four generations. Bill, Mary, Phoebe & Bruce    Jean, with Brent Whiteside 1965



Bruce, Jean, Garcia and Bill Whiteside, 1956                Cricket umpire 1950-80. Bill W



Garcia, Bill and Craig, Whakatane , 1957                                Bill Whiteside and Iris 1973



       Cricketers  Bill and Bruce Whiteside.

Bill was Captain of Riccarton Third Grade in Christchurch the early 1920's. A middle order hard-hitting batsman, he was also a medium pace cum leg spin bowler. It was not until about 1947 when his son began to take an interest in batting that he trundled down a few overs on a dirt track that served as a wicket. Childs play at first, but Bill soon got serious and tested the boy. He spent countless hours with his son. "Get over the ball, watch it on to your bat, get to the pitch of the ball '...and so it went on for an hour or so until it the evening light faded. What Bill did not know at the time was that is son was going down to the local cricket ground, helping the seniors to prepare for the days game, but always looking for the opportunity to 'have a game'. One day a player did not turn up and Bruce batting last carried his bat for nine not out. He was only 13; the next youngest player was over 20.

Seven years later in 1954 Bruce gave the game he loved away. That last year saw him as a Plunket Shield trialist, who had played for two local clubs, the Whakatane Junior Reps, the Senior Reps, the Provincial Bay of Plenty. He was a leading batsman in the local competition.

Unlike father Bill, Bruce either opened the innings or batted number three. He was not the attacking batsman that his father was, but rather a stroke-maker with all the shots. Bill took a renewed interest in the game, writing cricket columns, umpiring, fostering the game for youngsters, by creating a provincial competition and did much to promote the game. Bruce's mother was also involved.

Bruce always believed that his Dad gave too much time to the game, a reason that did more to see him give the game away. Bill went on to become President, selector and was well respected for his cricketing knowledge throughout the Bay of Plenty. Bruce played one game in Christchurch on his fathers old stomping ground in Christchurch in 1965. Batting at number three he was run out for 94. Yet his father would have given all of this away to have seen his son play at Lords. At 76 Bruce still kicks himself for retiring at such an early age. What might have been?

There was one difference of opinion never resolved. You see in a club game Bruce was dismissed, to be immediately followed by the next batsman, which left father Bill facing a hatrick ...father Bill was out next ball.

Lords or not Bruce never forgot the endless hours of coaching ...nor the pride that his Dad showed when he scored his first century. "Dad taught me much, not only about cricket but life."


Bob and Bev Ryan ( Bruce's younger sister)                William & Phoebe's Golden Wedding , 1951

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