Coach of the Century
Hall of Fame inductee
Bill passed away peacefully on 9 November 2021. He was 91 years old.
Bill was appointed Club coach in 1976. Many of us had played against him and knew him as a tough, aggressive, competitive cricketer at both Carnegie and Clayton with a commanding presence on the field whether bowling or batting. He was described by many as ‘a tough bastard’ to play against – arguably the ultimate accolade for any sportsperson.
Bill coached for 8 seasons and took the Club to its first Senior Division grand final in 1981/82. Unfortunately, we were beaten by the Gary Sobers coached East Malvern in a heart-breaking loss. Despite that loss, Hampton became a formidable and highly competitive side during Bill’s reign. Hampton great Jim Kenny described him as a ‘transformational presence’ who ‘reset the Hampton DNA’, such was his influence on the Club.
While well past his best playing days, Bill also made a significant contribution as a player including the 4th XI premierships in 1977/78 and 1980/81. He also won the 2nd XI batting and bowling averages in the 1979/80 season at the age of 50.
Bill’s contribution to the Club was not limited to player/coach. He brilliantly played the blushing bride in the hugely successful performance of the ‘wedding of the year’ (Muriel’s Wedding) at the Clubrooms in the early 1980s. Many say it was the funniest night ever staged at the clubrooms. He truly was an all-rounder.
Bill’s playing career started as a junior with the Clarendon Cricket Club in the 1940s.
Later he was captain and/or coach at clubs in Middle Park, South Melbourne, Carnegie, and Clayton before he came to Hampton, notching up five premierships along the way. Bill also coached the Victorian U14 Schoolboys team in 1963/4, a side which included Hampton’s junior stars John Stephens (a future State player), Michael Brinkman and David Senini.
Bill holds Life Member status at no less than three clubs, plus at the VJCA/VTCA where he served as president for 14 years. Additionally, Bill played A Grade baseball for many years as well as being a very capable golfer.
Bill was named our Coach of the Century in 2008, inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2012 and was made a Life Member of the Club.
Bill was awarded the Order of Australia medal in 2014 for services to cricket. His late wife, Margaret, a former president of Netball Australia and board member of the Australian Sports Commission, was also awarded the OAM in 1989 for her contributions to women’s sport and has a sports commission memorial award named in her honour.
Despite his long and varied cricket journey, Bill maintained that his time at Hampton was where his fondest memories lay. He believed the honours he received at Hampton were just the icing on the cake in his long sporting career.
Even last year, at age 90 and following a bad fall, Bill regularly drove up from Phillip Island to watch the First XI and reminisce with the past players. He had a lifetime love of cricket and was a great storyteller and raconteur. Bill was one of a kind and will be sadly missed.
Hampton great and former President, Doug Powell, summed up Bill’s contribution saying:
“Very sad news. Bill was an opponent, team mate and friend for around 60 years and will be sadly missed but not forgotten. He was instrumental in changing the club’s attitude to the way we played, leading to the current successful unit it is today.”
R.I.P Old Mate
Condolences to Bill’s family especially sons Steven and Ian who both played at the Club in the 80s and 90s.
Vale Bill Pewtress