A HISTORY OF BANKSTOWN PLAYERS : Mick’s Musings
Undoubtedly one of the most popular Bulldogs of all time is Ken Hall the legendary all-rounder. Nobody has been involved in more premierships than the irrepressible Emu. A left arm bowler and right-hand batsman he used both hands to hang onto the myriad number of catches in slips. The affable Bulldog was a fierce competitor with a remarkable never say die attitude. He was a mentor to the younger players and received great plaudits from all especially the first-class reps. Most of our present-day players know what value Ken is but may not be aware of his proud record. In sport, nothing is more valued than the admiration of your peers. Here is a sample of the pedigree Bulldogs comments on Ken; Steve Waugh “Ken is the man who always gives everything and a wonderful example to all players” Steve Small “I have played with many over the years but for sheer will to win Emu stands out as the best; even Father Time can’t stop him”. Kevin Roberts “Ken Hall is probably the greatest competitor in the history of Sydney grade cricket”; Corey Richards “What an amazing man. Fifty years old and still teaching men half his age to play cricket”; Dean Waugh “The value he places on his wicket should be an inspiration for every cricketer”.
He plays with great pride and spirit and like a vintage port gets better as the years go by. I wouldn’t swap him for anyone else in grade cricket. We need more Emus!! Steve Small enticed Emu to the Bulldogs in 1990-91. He played an integral role in the back to back premierships in 1994-95.In the final against the Eels he scored 102 not out to put the game well out of reach of Parra. The following season the final was against North Sydney and the Bulldogs collapsed to be all out for a meagre 87. In reply Norths looked home and hosed with 1-117. Greg Trevena made the breakthrough then Emu ripped through the Bears with 4-38. This allowed the Bulldogs to storm back into the game and win the Belvidere Cup again. When Bankstown won the trophy again in 1999-2000 Kevin Roberts praised Emu for his 25th consecutive season in first grade and highlighted the fact that most of the team were not even born when the legend made his first grade debut.
At the Premiers Dinner Ken was presented with an autographed copy of the 1948 Invincibles. It was an emotionally charged tribute to the man who had won five Premierships, never played second grade, conceded a niggardly 1.5 runs throughout his career and used his huge hands and lightning reflexes to snap up some screamers in slips. A spilled chance was as rare as an Emu full toss or rash stroke. At the time Ken was one of only six players to be awarded Life Membership of the Sydney Cricket Association in recognition of his service to grade cricket
Amazingly Emu was dismissed only twice in the whole of 93-94 and finished with the amazing average of 123.5. Not bad for a bowler!! One of the treasured memories was Steve Small and Emu sitting on the pitch with the Belvidere Cup between them as the strains of We are the Champions rang out. In a limited over past and present game Ken Hall gave the players a sense of what a great competitor he still was. Emu snapped up the prized wicket of run machine Daniel Solway much to the delight of the past players. Right up until the present-day Ken is still involved with the Bulldog. He is Manager of the first-grade side and is a beloved inspiration to all.