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Patrick Symcox

TODAY IN KIMBERLEY’S HISTORY 14 APRIL

UPDATED: 14/04/2020

14 April 1960, SA Protea cricketer Patrick Symcox born.
14 April 1982, Sonny Leon Library opens in Roodepan.

Happy 60th Birthday Pat Symcox
Patrick Leonard Symcox (born 14 April 1960 in Kimberley to Rodger and Joan Symcox) is a retired Test and ODI cricketer for South Africa. Educated at Kimberley Boys High School, he played 20 Tests and 80 ODIs in the 1990s and played provincial cricket for both Griqualand West and the Natal Dolphins in Durban.

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Patrick Symcox

Pat was a right-arm off-spin bowler and was known for his powerful hitting down the order and has a Test century to his name, scored against Pakistan. He is also co-holder, with Mark Boucher, of the World Test record ninth-wicket partnership of 195 runs, set on 15 February 1998, this being when he scored his century. This knock of 108 runs included 17 boundaries, Pat being only third person in Test cricket history coming in at No 10 to score a century.

“I’ve always wondered what it felt like to score a Test hundred. I was at the crease when Hansie [Cronje] and Daryll [Cullinan] scored their first centuries and it seemed like something very, very special. Now I know and all I can say is that it is incredibly tough, mentally more than physically.”

Another lesser known statistic is that Patrick was responsible for the 500th stumping in ODI cricket. It was on 4 December 1997 against Australia at the Sydney Cricket Ground, with Michael Bevan missing Symcox’s bowl and wicketkeeper Dave Richardson removing the bails.

It was in that same ODI against Australia at the SCG that play was stopped after the crowd pelted Symcox with projectiles, including an entire cooked chicken.

And who can forget Patrick being bowled by Mushtaq Ahmed in the third Test between South Africa and Pakistan on 24 October 1997, the ball going through between the middle and off stumps without removing the bails. Bowled, but not out! On 56 at the time Patrick went on to score 81 runs in the 1st innings. Incidentally, Pat won the Man of the Match in this Test, scoring 81 and 55 runs as well as taking 0/39 and 3 wickets for 8 runs in the Pakistan second innings.

PT-Patrick_Symcox-1960-03

Patrick Symcox

Symcox retired in 1998. His son, Russel, like his father, used to play provincial cricket for the Natal Dolphins. His father Rodger, also played provincial cricket for Griqualand West and the Symcox family are one of ten families in South Africa to have seen three generations play first-class cricket.

He also commentated for Supersport and ESPN Star Sports on cricket around the world.

Pat Symcox now owns the REMAX property franchise on the South Coast of Kwa-Zulu Natal in South Africa known as RE/MAX Coast & Country which is active in the residential and commercial property sector.

He is also a popular after-dinner speaker and plays Golf off a single figure handicap. Known as one of the tough men of the 90’s Protea cricket team, he played under Kepler Wessels and Hansie Cronje.

Prior to his cricketing career, Symcox also managed Private Hospitals and worked for Masters International acting as a managing agent many of the top sportsmen of South Africa.

Happy Birthday Patrick!

14 April 1960, SA Protea cricketer Patrick Symcox born.
14 April 1982, Sonny Leon Library opens in Roodepan.

(Pictured is Sonny Leon)

DID YOU KNOW

Lionel Samuel (Sonny) Leon (29 November 1911- 31 July 1990) was born in Johannesburg and worked in a furniture factory up until World War II when he signed up to fight, enlisting in South Africa’s oldest regiment, the Cape Corps. He saw active service with the Cape Corps and the 6th Armoured Division in East Africa, North Africa and Italy and was frequently mentioned in dispatches, reaching the rank of Regimental Sergeant-Major, at the time the highest rank a soldier “of colour” could attain.

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Sonny Leon

While he was a Private in the Army Educational Services he applied to follow a NCO course at the Khartoum Military College but was turned down because only whites could attend the college. He was transferred to Kimberley as RSM at the Corps Training Depot and was there when the war ended, specializing in artillery and the training thereof. He was then seconded to the Demobilisation Corps.

The attitude of the white soldiers made him bitter because he felt it was his duty not to allow any system (like the Nazi system) to come near his country South Africa. Thus, after the war, he promised to himself, he would enter politics in order to fight injustices.

In 1945 he married Helene – the union producing seven children -and settled in Kimberley where he was to take an active part in politics, and in particular, fighting to better the life of the so-called coloured people in the town. In 1948 he became an organizer for the United Party in the election won by the Nationalists.

He was a founder member of the Labour Party in 1965 and served as national leader from 1971 to 1979 when the Coloured Representative Council was disbanded. Leon served as a member of the President’s Council between 1981 and 1984 and during the entire period of apartheid was an outspoken critic of the government.

Was the local Chairman and National Vice President of the SA Coloured Ex-Servicemen’s Legion of the British Empire Service Legion (BESL), now the SA Legion.

Leon had joined De Beers as a brush hand in 1952 and progressed to being a painter in the Engineering Department by 1967.

From Kimberley Calls and Recalls on Facebook By Steve Lunderstedt

Aeon Computer Kimberley

About Steve Lunderstedt

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