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Bernard Whimpress

Description : Dr Bernard Whimpress is an Australian historian, most active in the area of sports history. A former sports magazine journalist and photographer, he has written, co-written and edited 27 books, mainly on cricket. As author these include:Test Eleven was widely praised in the English press and cricket magazines and Wisden Cricketers' Almanack. Passport to Nowhere was short-listed for the Jack Pollard Trophy in 2000.As editor/publisher of other authors:He has also written and published a number ... Page:b

Dr Bernard Whimpress is an Australian historian, most active in the area of sports history. A former sports magazine journalist and photographer, he has written, co-written and edited 27 books, mainly on cricket.


As author these include:

  • The South Australian Football Story (SANFL 1983);
  • Adelaide Oval Test Cricket 1884–1984 (with Nigel Hart, Wakefield Press 1984);
  • Understanding Cricket (Rigby 1985, Axiom 2006);
  • Test Eleven (with Nigel Hart, Wakefield Press 1994, Andre Deutsch 1995; as Great Ashes Battles, Andre Deutsch 2005; as The Greatest Ashes Battles, Carlton 2009);
  • Australian Eleven (with Nigel Hart, 1997);
  • Grass Roots (with Geoff Sando, SACA 1997);
  • Passport to Nowhere (Walla Walla Press 1999);
  • The Imaginary Grandstand (ed., ASSH SA 2002);
  • Chuckers: A History of Throwing in Australian Cricket (2002, Elvis Press 2004);
  • A History of Australian Cricket/The Penguin History of Australian Cricket (with Chris Harte, Carlton/Penguin 2003, 2008);
  • J.N. Crawford: His Record Innings by Innings (with Nigel Hart, ACS 2003);
  • The Superior Cricket Watcher's Ashes Quiz Book (Axiom 2005);
  • Clem Hill's Reminiscences (ed., ACS 2007);
  • Ernie Jones: Australia's First Fast Bowler (ACS 2007);
  • Adelaide Then and Now (with photographer Adam Lee, Axiom 2008, 2011);
  • Off Cuts: Writings on Sport (Axiom 2008);
  • The Official MCC Ashes Treasures (Carlton 2009, 2010, 2013; ABC 2009); as The Official Ashes Treasures (Allen & Unwin 2013); as The Official MCC Story of the Ashes/The Official Story of the Ashes (Carlton/Hardie Grant 2015);
  • Classic Adelaide and its Environs (with photographer Adam Lee, Axiom 2010);
  • On Our Selection: An alternative history of Australian Cricket (2011);
  • The Blues in Whites: A History of St Peter's Collegians' Cricket Club 1932–2010 (Wakefield Press 2012);
  • 1878: Norwood Football Club's First Year (NFC 2013);
  • Sports Writing: A Personal Journey (2013);
  • WG Grace: Colonial Responses 1873–74, 1891–92 (2013);
  • Cricket and Politics (2013);
  • Adelaide Oval Tennis: 1878–2012 (2014);
  • Half-Life: A Memoir (2015);
  • Fine Glances: Essays on Cricket (2015);

Test Eleven was widely praised in the English press and cricket magazines and Wisden Cricketers' Almanack. Passport to Nowhere was short-listed for the Jack Pollard Trophy in 2000.

As editor/publisher of other authors:

  • Champions of Australia (Max Sayer, 2003)
  • Australian Aviation: An Illustrated History (Adam Lee, Author and photographer, Axiom 2008)
  • Adelaide Sights (with photographer Adam Lee, Axiom 2010)
  • Addicted to Cricket (J. Neville Turner, 2010);
  • Way College 1892–1903 (Bob Petersen, 2013);
  • Four Bars In (J. Neville Turner, 2014)


He has also written and published a number of booklets:

  • W.G. Grace at Kadina (1994, 2011);
  • Adelaide Gold (1997);
  • A Footy Crowd (1999);
  • The First Sheffield Shield Match (2000);
  • Corroboree (2000);
  • Hughie's Best Never Eleven (2002);
  • Lord Hawke's XI at Unley (2003);
  • Ted Stokes, Bat and Ball (2003);
  • Memorial Drive Tennis Club: A Brief History (2004);
  • Hughie's Best Never Ashes Series (2004);
  • Major Taylor at Adelaide Oval (2005);
  • Bradman at Adelaide Oval (2005);
  • Ten Year's After (2006);
  • Michael Gandy, From Government Paddocks to Bellerive Oval (2007);
  • J. Neville Turner, The Case of the Half-Eaten Pear (2007);
  • Giffen's Match (2009);
  • Clem Hill's 365 at Adelaide (2012);
  • Bradman's Walk to Glory: An Innocent Misattribution (2014);
  • Giffen's Year 1894-95 (2015);
  • Adelaide Oval Scoreboards (2015);
  • Jubilee Oval 1895-1945 (2015).

From 1998 to 2010 he published and edited a journal of Australian cricket history, Baggy Green.

Contributions to books

Whimpress has also been a major contributor with either main articles or chapters in the following books:

  • Wray Vamplew et al (eds), The Oxford Companion to Australian Sport (1992, 1994)
  • Richard Cashman et al (eds), The Oxford Companion to Australian Cricket (1996)
  • Wray Vamplew and Brian Stoddart (eds), Sport in Australia: A Social History (1994)
  • The A-Z of Australian Cricketers (1997)
  • Adelaide City Council's City Memory (1999)
  • Richard Cashman et al. (eds), Sport, Federation, Nation (2001)
  • Michael Roberts, Essaying Cricket: Sri Lanka and Beyond (2006)
  • Australian Football League's sesquicentential history, The Australian Game of Football since 1858 (2008)
  • Toni Johnson-Woods and Amit Sarwal (eds), Sold by the Millions: Australia's Bestsellers (2012)
  • Mike Cahill (ed.), Back Story (2012)
  • Rick Hosking and Amit Sarwal (eds), Wanderings in India: Australian Perceptions (2012)
  • Introduction to Heidelberg School (2013)
  • Eric Midwinter (ed.), Cricket Lore: The Guide (2014)
  • Ronald Cardwell (ed.), The Life and Times of the Immortal Victor Trumper (2015)

He was an associate editor and contributor to The Wakefield Companion to South Australian History and has several entries in various volumes of the Australian Dictionary of Biography.

Excerpts from Whimpress's work are included in The Oxford Book of Australian Sporting Anecdotes, Gideon Haigh's Cricket Anecdotes, The Best Ever Australian Sports Writing: A 200 Year Collection and The Best Australian Sports Writing 2004.

Articles and journalism

Historical articles and journalism on sporting subjects have appeared in numerous, magazines and journals in Australia and overseas, including Wisden Cricketer's Almanack Australia, Wisden Cricket Monthly, Cricketer, Cricket Lore, Australian Cricket, Inside Edge, Journal of the Cricket Society, Cricket Statistician, Sports Historian, Sport in Society, Sporting Traditions, Australian Society for Sports History Bulletin, the Bulletin of Sports and Culture and Between Wickets. He previously edited Football Times (1975–77), the South Australian Football Budget (1979–83), Long Boundary (1996–2003), published and edited Baggy Green (1998–2010), and was reviews editor of Sporting Traditions (2003–2007).

Wider writing and reviews have also appeared in a range of magazines, journals and newspapers such as Aboriginal History, The Australian, The New Federalist, Journal of Australian Studies, Community History, Arena, Sydney Morning Herald, The Advertiser, History Australia, Overland, Australian Book Review and The Newtown Review of Books.

Work with sporting organisations

Whimpress has held major positions with key sporting organisations.

As Publications Manager of the South Australian National Football League from 1979 to 1984 he edited the league's weekly magazine, the South Australian Football Budget, annual reports and newsletters; wrote the history of the league, The South Australian Football Story; and arranged themed historic displays throughout the members dining rooms and bars in both the members area and outer ground of Football Park.

As Curator of the Adelaide Oval Museum and Historian for the South Australian Cricket Association (SACA) from 1994 to 2009 he was responsible for historical displays, maintaining historical records of the Oval and expanding heritage consciousness of the ground. In addition he edited several of the association's annual reports and was the founding editor of the newsletter, Long Boundary. In 2008 he conceived the design and wrote the text for the reinterpretation of the Bradman Collection Museum on its transfer from the State Library to Adelaide Oval and provided further reinterpretation of the same collection in the new southern stand at the Oval in 2013.

Since 2010 he has acted as a historical consultant to the SACA and Adelaide Oval Stadium Management Authority (AOSMA) working in conjunction with design firm MartinsIntegrated in developing displays in the western and southern grandstands. Major displays include those on the History of Adelaide Oval Test Cricket Level 2 of the Western Stands, the History of South Australian Cricket in the Sheffield Room on the ground floor of the same stand, and the Football History on Level 3 of the Riverbank Stand.

In 2013 he became a member of a national Australian Football League (AFL) History Sub-committee and the Adelaide Oval History Committee.

Other historical work

Whimpress holds a doctorate in history from Flinders University and an associate diploma in photography from the South Australian College of Arts and Education. He has taught courses in sports, American and world history at Flinders University; and Aboriginal history and sports journalism at the University of South Australia. He has both supervised and examined theses at doctoral level.

He was Oral Historian for the Adelaide City Council between 1990 and 1993.


Whimpress is a founder member of the Australian Society for Sports History (ASSH), convened the biennial ASSH conference in Adelaide in 2001, and was vice-president of that body from 2003 to 2007. He is a current member of the Professional Historians Association (SA), the Historical Society of South Australia, the South Australian Writers Centre, the Cricket Society (UK), the Association of Cricket Statisticians and Historians, Cricket Lovers (SA) and the Art Deco and Modernism Society.

He is a past member of the Australian Journalists Association, the Australian Historians Association, the Australian Society of Authors, the Oral History Association, Museums Australia and the Institute of Photographers.

Current work

He is currently working as a freelance writer, historical consultant and editor .

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