The world’s only known colour footage of Sir Donald Bradman playing cricket has been discovered after 71 years.
The National Film and Sound Archive released the footage on Friday, showing Bradman in action at the Sydney Cricket Ground in February 1949.
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The footage was shot at a Bradman testimonial match between AF Kippax and WA Oldfield, about eight months after his retirement.
The NFSA said the 16mm footage came to them from Adrian Hobbs and was most-likely shot by his father George, a cameraman for the Department of Information and ABC at the time.
Archivists were apparently unaware of the footage until recently because it was in a can labelled ‘Manly and Bondi Beach, Sydney @1949’ - donated by Bradman’s son Adrian.
The footage shows a packed-out SCG crowd of about 41,000 watching a 40-year-old Bradman in action on a sunny Saturday.
He scored 53 runs from 66 balls in what was the second-last first-class match of his career.
Bradman’s incredible legacy
Bradman actually played in three testimonial matches following his last Test at The Oval in August of 1948.
As well as the SCG match he played in one at the MCG in December 1948 and a Sheffield Shield clash between South Australia and Victoria.
Widely regarded as Australia’s finest cricketer, Bradman scored 6996 runs in just 52 Tests for his famous average of 99.94.
Following a stint in hospital with pneumonia in December 2000, he died at home on the 25th of February 2001, aged 92.