John Gleeson (back, left) as part of the Far North Coast cricket team. Country Week, Brisbane, 1955/56
John Gleeson (back, left) as part of the Far North Coast cricket team. Country Week, Brisbane, 1955/56 Contributed

Cricket legend from North Coast passes away

CRICKET Australia is deeply saddened after announcing that ex-test spinner John Gleeson has passed away at 78.

Born in Wiangaree, just outside of Kyogle, in 1938, Gleeson was the first of three sons to Walter and Jesse (nee Kemp).

His family moved to the area in 1926 and ran the post office and telephone exchange.

Gleeson played 27 tests between 1967 and 1972 and the news of his passing in Tamworth was confirmed by Ian Chappell on the Nine Wide World of Sports, Cricket Australia reported.

"The folded finger-spinner they called him," Chappell said.

"I think he started with a table tennis ball, and developed into a very fine finger spinner.

"I spoke to him the other day, he'd come to grips with his situation and his last words were to me, 'Don't fret, mate, I'm in good shape'."

Gleeson was the 242nd Australian to wear the Baggy Green and took 93 wickets, with a career average of 36.2. He had a top score of 45 in Test cricket.

John William Gleeson is survived by his wife Sandra, two sons and two daughters.


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