An unusual Richie Benaud memory from the Sydney Cricket Ground


by Tim Harcourt


I was once invited to a club function at the SCG for the Sydney Swans. They told me just to tell the man at the door/gate that you are invited officially and I should “bring a copy of my book The Airport Economist for Richard” meaning Richard Colless the Swans chairman.

I got to the gate & said to the doorman I was invited and I have a book for Richard.

The doorman said “well Richie is right behind you so give him the book now”

I turned around and there was Richie Benaud and his wife Daphne.

So I gave a puzzled Richie the book and the doorman said “Sorry Richie, I didn’t realise he was with you” and let me in. I was then escorted by a confused Richie and an amused Daphne (who put my book in her handbag) to the function room.

I then found my host, former Swans and West Coast Eagles ruckman Jason Ball, so I could reassure Daphne and Richie that I was no gate crasher.

Some weeks later I saw Richie and Daphne again at another function, and Richie (who was a trained journalist), to my embarrassment remembered the incident vividly, said he enjoyed “his accidental gift” but he mostly wanted to know whether Richard Colless got his copy.

Thanks for the memories, Richie Benaud.

Tim Harcourt 10 April 2015, Sydney.


  1. Peter Schumacher says

    I was at the Adelaide Test England v Australia January 59. I have a vivid memory of being awestruck by the man as he lead the Aussie’s out on the field. To be fair, Peter May also left a similar impression with me..

  2. Great story Tim.
    I remember watching Richie in a segment with Simon O’Donnell.
    I think they were promoting a destination where people went to base jump off a mountain.
    Richie, in his droll fashion, said ‘base jumping is a lot more popular now they’ve allowed the use of parachutes.’
    He looked at the camera, dead pan, while O’Donnell almost split his pants trying to hold in his laughter and throw to a commercial.

  3. Yvette Wroby says

    Hi all, I have no stories but can say that I have missed his presence in the Channel 9 Commentary to the point I mute them all now. I miss the fact that I liked the way he talked me through the game. There will never be anyone was gentle and enthusiastic as Mr Benaud.


Leave a Comment