5 Strange Stories About Sir Don Bradman

Video highlights from Aussie Icons with HG Nelson

On this day in 1908, the cricket superstar was born in Cootamundra, New South Wales.

Don Bradman was just 21 years old when he scored the highest number of runs by a single batsman in one day’s play (309 runs not out) in the third Ashes test on 11 July 1930.

The legendary cricketer smashed the previous record by a century. To this day, his record still stands.

But that’s not the only amazing thing about Sir Don Bradman. We’re all familiar with his illustrious cricketing career, but here are five things you might not know.

1. A Talented Musician

Bradman was a big music fan, who played the piano and even composed his own songs.

After returning from winning the Ashes, he teamed up with songwriter Jack Lumsdaine to write ‘Every day is a rainbow day for me’, setting Jack’s words to music.

Don Bradman accompanying a female singer on the piano [Image: National Library of Australia]

2. A Question From Nelson Mandela

When former Australian prime minister Malcolm Fraser visited Nelson Mandela in Cape Town’s Pollsmoor Prison in 1986, one of Mandela’s first questions was “Tell me, Mr Fraser, is Donald Bradman still alive?”

When Mandela was released from prison several years later, Fraser gave him an autographed cricket bat that said, "To Nelson Mandela in recognition of a great unfinished innings – Don Bradman".

Malcolm Fraser presents Nelson Mandela with the signed bat [Image: SBS]

3. A Love That Lasted A Lifetime

Don first met his future wife when he was five. The pair were married for 65 years until her death on 14 September 1997.

Don and Jessie (nee Menzies) Bradman in September 1938 [Image: National Portrait Gallery, London]

4. A Brush With Death

At the end of the 1934 tour of England, Bradman contracted acute appendicitis and was so ill that newspapers began preparing obituaries.

A smiling Don Bradman [Image State Library of New South Wales]

5. A Postal Tribute

The ABC postal address in all capital cities of Australia is Post Office Box 9994, Bradman's Test batting average (99.94).

[Image: ABC News]

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