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Max Walker
, 1976 (printed 2010)

by Bruce Postle

type C photograph (sheet: 50.6 x 35.9 cm, image: 38 x 30.4 cm)

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.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery, Canberra
Purchased with funds provided by James Bain AM and Janette Bain 2010
Accession number: 2010.13