What they said about The Don

Legends pay tribute to Bradman on his birthday

Martin Smith

27 August 2014, 10:30 AM AEST

Today, August 27, 2014, is Sir Donald Bradman's 106th birthday.

To celebrate the life and career of one of the greatest sportsmen of all time, we've compiled tributes from cricketers, politicians and even a member of the British royal family about the man known simply as The Don.

"He is probably the most important Australian of all time." - Legendary broadcaster and former Australia captain Richie Benaud

"Nobody will ever emulate the feats of the Don again. He would have been supreme in any era and had he played in the modern game, would no doubt have topped the lists of all batting achievements." - Former England captain David Gower

"Mandela's first words for me were: 'Fraser, can you please tell me, is Donald Bradman still alive?'" - Australia Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser after a prison visit to Mandela in 1986

"He was never overpowering with his deeds, he was meek in some ways and did not thrust it down people's throat. Today's players could learn a lot from him." - Former England captain Brian Close

"We're just lucky he was born an Australian." - Former Australia captain Bill Lawry

"I want to know everything." - King George VI asking to be kept informed when Bradman fell seriously ill in 1934

"I think the best compliment was from Sir Don Bradman when he announced his all-time Test XI and I was part of that squad. That would be the best compliment." - Former India batsman Sachin Tendulkar

"My feet feel tired when I think of him." - Former England batsman Joe Hardstaff

"If you’re going to be compared to someone who was great in his sport, the biggest honour would be Donald Bradman. As far as setting the bar in sport, he set the bar." - American surfing legend Kelly Slater


"He reminded Australians that they were capable of great things in their own right. He was the greatest, nobody will be anywhere near him. He was a hero to me as a young child and he remained a hero to me all of my life." - Former Australian Prime Minister John Howard

"Isn't that Don Bradman over there? I would like to be introduced." - Former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill at a public gathering in 1948

"Bradman is living witness to the very important truth that men are not equal." - Christian Renewal magazine

"He was a great player and inspiration to millions of people, including myself. His statistics are mind blowing and it's difficult to put in context - he was a once-in-a-lifetime player and his contribution off the field is significant as well." - Former Australia captain Steve Waugh

"The word icon is perhaps used too often, but it does apply to him." - Former English first-class player and chairman of selectors David Graveney

"His performances in England in 1930, right at the heart of the depression, gave the nation hope. Of course it carried on until 1948 when he retired. He was seen as someone of enormous integrity. He wrote 80 letters a day, four hours a day.'' - Bradman biographer Roland Perry. It is estimated one million fans have received hand-written replies from Bradman

"Never, never have I heard more tragic words fall from the lips of any man." - British barrister Sir William Norman Birkett, who served during the Nuremberg Trials, when Bradman announced his retirement

"He was a perfectionist, good at everything he did, and a very nice man as well." - Former England player Trevor Bailey

"To bat with him was an exercise in embarrassing futility." - Former team-mate Jack Fingleton

"Bradman didn't break my heart in 1930; he just made me very, very tired." - Former England fast bowler Harold Larwood

"All England feels that now, at last, we may be able to fight for the Ashes on more equal terms again." Former England batsman Bill Edrich upon Bradman's retirement

"His innings may have closed, but his legacy will forever live on in the hearts of millions of Australians." - Former Australia captain Mark Taylor upon Bradman's passing in 2001

"He showed that it was possible in Australia to be a young country boy, with no pretensions, someone who was a very promising country cricketer, who could then go on to play for Australia and captain Australia." - Richie Benaud

Sir Donald Bradman

Born: August 27, 1908, Cootamundra, NSW

Died: February 25, 2001, Adelaide, SA (aged 92)


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