AUCC Life Members

  • R.B. Bell
  • H.J Bennett (See Below for further information)
  • J.E.L. Burton
  • R.A. Dykes (See Below for further information)
  • R.L. Emtage
  • C.W. Hollies
  • P.D. McDermott (See below for further information)
  • L.B. Schnauer
  • J.T. Sparling (See below for further information)
  • R.C. Hooton
  • G. Lynch
  • W. Hart
  • V.P. Hurley  (See below for further information)

H.J. Bennett

Harold Bennett was the first Convenor of Junior Cricket for the University Cricket Club when the club merged with the St Heliers Junior Cricket Club in 1978. The purpose of the merger was to give the University Club a junior section when they relocated from Eden Park to Colin Maiden Park in Glen Innes (an ACA requirement for all clubs with "Principal Club" status) and the juniors at the St Heliers Junior Cricket Club a pathway into senior cricket.

Harold was at the fore-front of the merger and planning discussions. Following the merger he was appointed the Club's Junior Convenor, a position he held for the next thirteen seasons (1978/79 - 1990/91). He was also heavily involved in the administration of junior cricket at both ACA and EDCA level and was granted honorary membership of the Auckland Cricket Association for his services to junior cricket in the Auckland region.

Harold was also an active player well into his fifties, touring overseas with the Fingletoads on four occasions. It is most fitting that today the annual Fingletoads v University Club Juniors fixture is played for the Harold Bennett Trophy.

Harold was awarded Life Membership of the University Cricket Club in 1984 in recognition of his outstanding and generous administrative contribution to the Club.

Harold Bennett died in Wellington on Monday, 23 September 2007 aged 94.

R.A. Dykes

Ross Alexander Dykes (born 26 February 1945 in Auckland) is the Club’s Life Member number 15.

Ross is a former Club and representative cricketer who played 31 first-class matches for Auckland in the Plunket Shield between 1967 and 1977. A wicketkeeper and left-handed batsman, he made 81 dismissals and scored 723 runs at first class level.

Ross is regarded as the best wicket-keeper batsman to play for the Club. He amassed 5,630 runs at club level and his club record of 326 fielding dismissals will arguably never be broken. 

Ross continued to serve cricket after his long successful career as a player. He held a number of positions on the Club’s management board including most notably Club Captain from 1976-78 and Club President for over 10 years from 1987-97.  As a very successful administrator in the game, Ross also served as a New Zealand selector for 13 years, then chief executive of the Otago Cricket Association for 10 years, retiring in 2015. A major achievement of his tenure was the development of University Oval in Dunedin as New Zealand's seventh Test ground.

Peter McDermott:

After leaving Auckland Grammar School at the end of 1964, Peter McDermott immediately began his long association with Auckland Cricket when he joined the Auckland University Cricket Club the following year.

Interestingly, in those days, Eden Park #2 was our Club's home ground.

At the University Club Peter was an extremely competent left arm spinner in both the Premier and Premier Reserve grade teams scoring 2113 runs with the bat and taking an impressive 732 wickets including eighteen 6 wicket bags during his Club career at the University CC.

Peter was also very active with the Club administration. Before reaching the age of 30, Peter had held almost every position of administrative responsibility in the club, including that of ACA delegate, which not surprisingly, led to Peter becoming and inaugural Auckland Cricket Association board member in 1976.

In 1987, Peter became chairman of Auckland Cricket and one year later was appointed to the board of New Zealand Cricket. During this time he was also chairman of the Grounds Committee on the Eden Park Trust Board, as well as a Board Member and Deputy Chairman of the Waitakere Sports Trust.

In 1990 Peter was rewarded with his elevation to the chairmanship of New Zealand Cricket, a position he held until 1995. Also during this time he was New Zealand’s delegate to the extremely high powered International Cricket Council. In 1992 he co-chaired the World Cup of Cricket’s organising committee during that memorable tournament, where New Zealand managed to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory in the semi-final against eventual champions Pakistan, right here at Eden Park.

However, many hundreds of cricket lovers from the older brigade might say that Peter’s greatest contribution to Auckland and indeed New Zealand Cricket has come with his involvement in the areas of Golden Oldies and more latterly, Vintage Cricket. Between 1982 and 1996, Peter was chairman of the International Golden Oldies Cricket Secretariat and in 1984, before he was even eligible to take part himself, was the Chairman of the inaugural International Golden Oldies Festival which took place here in Auckland.

In 2009 Peter was awarded the ICC Centennial Medal for services to cricket thus truely recognising one of the great servants to the game NZ has produced.

John Trevor Sparling

John Trevor Sparling was born July 24, 1938 in Mount Eden, Auckland.

John is a former Black Cap from the Auckland University Club who played in 11 Tests from 1958 to 1964.

Described by Wisden as a stocky, fair-haired, off-spinning all-rounder, John was coached in Auckland by Jim Laker and broke into the Auckland team at the age of 18. A year and a half later, he was the youngest member of the New Zealand cricket team that toured England in 1958. On a tour where New Zealand were badly outclassed and in a summer where the weather was almost uniformly dismal, John was one of the few players to emerge with an enhanced reputation. Wisden called him the player with "undoubtedly most promise" and wrote: "A natural cricketer, he should come to the fore with so many years ahead of him."

On the England tour John scored 513 runs and took 38 wickets at just over 20 runs a wicket. He played in the last three of the five Tests and his 50 at Old Trafford on his 20th birthday was one of only three 50s scored by the side all summer. His stand of 61 for the seventh wicket with Eric Petrie in this match was the highest stand for New Zealand in the whole series.

Further Test saw John play twice against the touring MCC side in 1958-59, three times on the New Zealand tour of South Africa in 1961-62, once against MCC in New Zealand in 1962-63 and twice in the home series against South Africa in 1963-64. John’s Test career ended when he was 25.

John also played over 100 games for Auckland where he was regarded one of the most consistent all-rounders in New Zealand domestic cricket until the early 1970s.

John’s first class record includes:

New Zealand (1958-1963/64); Auckland (1956/57-1970/71); Rest of New Zealand (1957/58); Auckland XI (1957/58); New Zealanders (1958-1961/62); North Island (1958/59); New Zealand XI (1961/62-1963/64); New Zealand Governor-General's XI (1968/69); New Zealand Universities (1956/57-1958/59).

John's playing record at the Auckland University Club is also very impressive and he is regarded as the best all-rounder the Club as produced in its very proud history spanning over 100 years. During his Senior Club career he scored 6987 runs (HS 201 vs Parnell on Eden Park no 2) including 10 centuries, he took 496 wickets (BB 7-43) and taking 6 wickets on five occasions. From a playing perspective, 1967-68 remains John’s favourite club season from a personal perspective, for he set the club record of 973 runs in a season which has since only been superseded by just two players. His name can also been seen on many of the Club’s senior trophies.

John was the captain of the Premier team for over ten seasons during the late 50’s, and throughout the 60’s and early 70’s. The crowning glory came in 1960-61 when he skippered the Club to the Auckland title. John’s final Premier game was in 1984-84 at the age of 46.

At the Club’s Centennial celebrations in 2008, John was formally recognised by the Club as its “Player of the Century”.

John has been and remains very active in the Club administration and he still turns out for the Fingletoads on a regular basis. To this day he has a nagging accuracy with the ball as many a young club junior who has played in the annual Fingletoads vs Junior XI will tell you. He held the position of Club Secretary and honorary solicitor, EDCA junior selector and selector for Auckland.

He was appointed Patron of the Club in 2005.

Vince Hurley

Vince became associated with the Club in the late 1990s – when he attended a junior committee meeting that was discussing winding up the Club due to lack of interest in being involved in the committee.

Vince explained to the committee that this was crazy for a Club with around 90 years of proud history.  They said if that is your view, then you take over.  Which is exactly what he did!

Single handed, (but with help from a few old stalwarts) he transformed the junior club.  The introduction of compulsory uniform and cap …. Inter-club fixtures … Bill Hart Trophy – fair play, junior honours board, club records, club handbook etc etc – he introduced it all.

Vince also managed the EDCA relationship for the benefit of all junior cricketers – pushing hard on “process” and pushing the case for AUCC against stern pushback from Parnell and Grafton, who were used to getting things their way. 

Slowly but surely, more and more people joined Vince on the journey, culminating in the:

  • combining of the junior and senior clubs
  • a tremendously successful centenary celebration in February 2008
  • an up-to-date statistics database
  • and more and more people wanted to join in on the ride

Vince has been on the AUCC Board since he first became involved in the Club.  Since leaving his association with the juniors in 2006, he took on the role of Senior Club Captain.

Without Vince’s inspiration and dedication, the Club wouldn’t be where it is today – junior numbers trebled under Vince’s tenure – to over 650 players.  In 2011-12, we were the 2nd largest Club in Auckland (and NZ), we are financially sound, and AUCC is a major force in Auckland Cricket.