Bradman's son reclaims family name

Published: Thursday, July 24, 2008, 12:52 [IST]
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Melbourne: The son of Australia's greatest cricketer Sir Donald Bradman has reclaimed the family name after decades of living under an alias to avoid oppressive media and public attention.

John Bradman, the great batsman's only son, changed his last name to Bradsen in 1972 after struggling for years with the most recognisable name in Australia.

''Yes, it's a true story. I know Sir Donald is happy,'' a spokeswoman for the Bradman Museum in Bowral, the New South Wales state country town where Bradman grew up, told newsmen on Friday.

Newspapers on Friday said Bradman's son was introduced as John Bradman while representing his father at a dinner in Melbourne in November to celebrate the naming of Sir Donald as Australia's male athlete of the century.

John Bradman is a lecturer in constitutional and environmental law in Adelaide.

Sir Donald, whose first class career ran from 1927 to 1949, shuns the spotlight and is rarely seen in public. His public statements are usually made through the South Australia Cricket Association.

Bradman finished his career with a test average of 99.94 and is generally recognised as the greatest cricketer in the games's history. In 1948 he led an Australian team, which was known as the 'invincibles', on an unbeaten tour of England.

In a 1972 newspaper article, John Bradman, then aged 32, said he had changed his name so he could step out of his father's shadow.

''I'm tired of people 'discovering' who I am. I'm me,'' John Bradman wrote.

''And I am no longer prepared to accept being seriously introduced as simply someone's son. I'm an individual, not a social souvenir.''

''I was popped into a metaphorical glass cage to be peered at and discussed like the other exhibits,'' he said.

Sir Donald was quoted at the time as saying he respected his son's decision.

''Only those who have had to live with the incessant strain of publicity can have any idea of its impact,'' Sir Donald was reported as saying.

''I understand and appreciate what John has had to endure and hope this action will enable him to enjoy the privacy he seeks and which is his right.''


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