Almanac Cricket: Reunited With The Baggy Green


Peter Philpott’s framed ‘baggy green’ cap


As a collector of cricket books, I am on the mailing list of a number of auction houses, and receive the occasional catalogue. Over a post-walk coffee a few weeks ago, as I thumb through one such catalogue, I mention to my companions that in the up-coming auction there are a number of Australian cricket ‘baggy greens’ for sale. These include an early 1960’s Bob Simpson cap, the last cap worn by Kim Hughes as his country’s skipper, and a 1965 cap once worn by the New South Wales leg-spinner Peter Philpott.


The last of these piques the interest of my friend Jacko. “My sister is good friends with Peter Philpott’s daughter,” he says. He immediately contacts his sister. What follows is a flurry of text messages, as I relay the details of the auction house and the date of the forthcoming auction. And by the time we finish our morning coffees, the Philpott family have resolved to bid for their late father’s long lost baggy green cap.




Peter Philpott, who passed away in 2021 at the age of 86, has a most impressive cricket resume. He played eight Test matches for Australia from 1964 to 1966, including a tour of the West Indies. He made his first-grade debut for Manly as a 15 year-old, and represented New South Wales for thirteen seasons, including two as captain. A leg-spin bowler and more than handy batsman with a number of first-class tons, he played for four seasons in the Lancashire League, representing Ramsbottom (1955/59/60) and East Lancashire (1962). He retired from playing while still at the top of his game, but became a highly respected cricket coach, mentoring a wide range of teams, including NSW, South Australia, Yorkshire, and Surrey. He was Australia’s coach on the 1981 Ashes tour. Philpott was at the coaching vanguard, long before it was the widely accepted role it is today. He travelled widely, and coached in Sri Lanka, India, and South Africa. In addition, he wrote a number of books on cricket. Away from the game, he was a teacher by profession, and taught for five decades, including stints at top Sydney schools Shore and Kings. He even taught his own son at the latter.


Peter’s son Meecham is talking to me on the phone from Mackay, far north Queensland, where he is a presenter on ABC radio. When discussing his late father, it is obvious that he does so with great affection and pride. He is thrilled that, having bid successfully at auction, his dad’s baggy green cap is now back in the possession of the Philpott family.


Meecham reflects on the cap’s journey. He recalls that, when he was a boy, the cap unceremoniously “lived in dad’s wardrobe”. At around the age of 11, young Meecham donned the cap while playing a game of cricket with friends out on the street. His mother was quick to snatch it off his head, telling him that he had “not earned the right to wear it”. Later, the cap sat atop an old biscuit barrel in his father’s study for many years.



Like most of the cricketers of his era, Peter Philpott did not earn a great amount of money from the game. Meecham suspects that, in looking to put away some funds for a nest-egg, his father sold the baggy green to his friend John Cecil Cooke. The late Cooke was a long-time Singapore Cricket Association administrator, and was partly responsible for Singapore becoming an associate member of the ICC in 1974. Given that the Philpott baggy green was one of many items being auctioned by Leski Auctions from ‘The Cecil Cooke Collection’, it is apparent that Cecil was quite the collector of cricket memorabilia. Even into his forties and fifties, Peter participated in social cricket tours through South East Asia, playing on old colonial cricket grounds in Malaysia and Singapore. And it was through these connections that he made the acquaintance of Cooke.


Dad was constantly travelling and was always on the move, recalls Meecham. He says that this was a product of the rheumatic fever which his father contracted when he was a boy. In hospital, young Peter overheard the doctors speculating that the child would be lucky to live past the age of 35. As such, he lived life to the full. The title of Peter’s book Two Times Thirty-Five, My Double Life, which he wrote in his 70’s, is a direct reference to this.


The Philpott family often discussed the baggy green cap and speculated as to its whereabouts. But now that the baggy green is safely back in the family’s keeping, I ask Meecham about their plans for it. The first step is for it to be reframed, he says. Over the summer, he will take it to his sisters Fi in Port Macquarie and Georgie in Sydney. Much like its original owner, the cap has been well-travelled! Already it has become a talking point; friends who recently visited the Philpotts in Mackay were awestruck upon viewing it.


As we conclude our chat, Meecham thanks me for the small part I played in Peter Philpott’s baggy green cap being returned to his family, stressing that I was the one who had set all the wheels in motion. And in a world seemingly full of bad news, for a cricket tragic such as myself that really does make me smile.



You can read more from Smokie HERE


To return to the  home page click HERE


Our writers are independent contributors. The opinions expressed in their articles are their own. They are not the views, nor do they reflect the views, of Malarkey Publications.


Do you enjoy the Almanac concept?
And want to ensure it continues in its current form, and better? To help keep things ticking over please consider making your own contribution.

Become an Almanac (annual) member – CLICK HERE


About Darren Dawson

Always North.


  1. roger lowrey says

    Smokie the progenitor. I like it!


  2. Smokie

    Good sleuthing work. We’ll done indeed.

  3. Great work Smokie. I’m a bit too young to remember seeing Peter Philpott plying his wares.

    However I recall a cricket coaching book from the 70’s that had his name attached to it.


  4. Hayden Kelly says

    Good stuff Smokie . I am old enough to remember Peter Philpott he was a pretty handy player I recall .

  5. That’s a terrific story, yes, and full of good news!

  6. Peter Crossing says

    Peter Philpott was guest speaker at a Patron’s night event at our cricket club in Adelaide during his coaching stint here. He was friendly, knowledgeable and humble. Later, he was coach of the Rossall school team that played a match against the school team I was coaching. One of his charges, son of a famous cricketer, displayed considerable “attitude problems”. Peter handled the situation with aplomb. Good story that the cap has been returned to its rightful home. Thanks.

  7. Well played, Smokie.
    No amount of butterflies in the Amazon working with Kevin Bacon could explain how that happened.
    But it did. Hats off.

  8. Russel Hansen says

    what a great story, Smokie!
    thanks for sharing

    RPH, aka The Rabbit in the Vineyard

  9. Great story Smokie, great to hear it is with the family

  10. Thank you all for your comments.

    It really is great that the Philpott family have taken custodianship of Peter’s baggy green.
    I can tell you that they are absolutely thrilled with the outcome.

  11. Well played Smokie well played indeed

  12. Excellent work, Smokie. Such an uplifting tale. I love all forms of cricket hats/caps and reckon their power to evoke is unmatched by other sporting apparel. I often think of local sporting identity, KG Cunningham who received a baggy green when named as 12th man back in the early 1960’s. As a mark of gratitude and respect for all he did for him KG buried it with his father. Lovely gesture.

  13. Luke Reynolds says

    Brilliant Smokie. Awesome to see the baggy green back in the family. What an interesting cricketing life Philpott had.

Leave a Comment