Tom O’Connor is widely accepted as one of the most talented and naturally gifted all-round sportsmen Queanbeyan has produced, excelling in tennis, cricket, football, golf and boxing.
In 1921, prior to gaining prominence in other sports, he won a National Service Welter Weight boxing title. In 1931, Tom was a member of the four-man team that won the coveted Blackwell Cup, the symbol of hard-court tennis supremacy in NSW. The same year he represented NSW in a victorious tour of Queensland.
Tom O’Connor had an uncanny aptitude for many sports. He is one of the few to represent at Country Week in both cricket and rugby league. He was a member of the 1928 and 1929 Southern NSW teams led by the immortal Eric Weissel. He was Queanbeyan’s rugby league captain on several occasions in the 1920’s.
He was captain-coach of Cooma when they won the Massy Cup in 1932, the symbol of inter-town supremacy in the southern districts.
O’Connor was a talented cricketer. He was a fast medium bowler and a hard-hitting batsman. In 1928 he took 7/37 against a team of Sydney players which Arthur Mailey brought to Canberra. Among his victims were four Test and/or Sheffield Shield players including Don Bradman, who O’Connor clean bowled. In the following year he was selected to represent Southern Districts against England, at Goulburn. O’Connor was also selected for Southern Districts in the Country Week Carnivals in 1927-28 and 1928-29.
In 1940 Tom again proved his versatility by winning the Queanbeyan Golf Club Championship with a record round of 69. This was only 18 months after he first hit a golf ball.
Born: 14 September 1905
Deceased: 2 December 1993