Max Walker AM (1948–2016) was one of a small group of sportsmen to have played both senior VFL/AFL football and Test cricket. Having gained a diploma in architecture from RMIT, he played 94 senior games as a ruckman with the Melbourne Football Club from 1967 to 1972 before turning to cricket. Over a cricketing career of thirteen years, he played 70 first-class games for Victoria, and 28 Tests for Australia, taking 138 wickets as a medium-pace bowler and earning the nickname ‘Tangles’ for his unorthodox bowling action. Described as ‘one of the unlikeliest-looking elite sportsmen of the modern era’, he opted for a media career on retiring from cricket, working for the ABC for four years before joining Channel 9 as a member of the network’s cricket commentary team and later as a panellist and presenter for The Footy Show and Nine’s Wide World of Sport. In addition, over a thirty year period, Walker authored some 14 books, including bestselling toilet-toppers such as How to hypnotise chooks, How to puzzle a python and How to tame lions, and the 1976 autobiography Tangles. In later life he was a patron of a number of charities, including the Lighthouse Foundation for homeless youth. In June 2011, Walker was made a Member of the Order of Australia for his services to sport and the community.
Purchased with funds provided by James Bain AM and Janette Bain 2010
Accession number: 2010.13
More about the artist and subject
Permanent collection catalogue
On one level The Companion talks about the most famous and frontline Australians, but on another it tells us about ourselves: who we read, who we watch, who we listen to, who we cheer for, who we aspire to be, and who we'll never forget. The Companion is available to buy online and in the Portrait Gallery Store.