More Who’s Who’s in Franklin…

John Walker A few more of our regions distinctive personalities and “famous people” from the sporting arena are –
Sir John Walker
Born up the road in Papakura, John came to world prominence in 1974, at the Christchurch Commonwealth Games when he ran second to Filbert Bayi in the 1500 metre race. Both Filbert and John broke the existing world record. John also won the bronze medal in the 800 metres. The time of 1:44:92 is his lifetime best for the distance and still the second fastest New Zealander ever, behind Peter Snell. John was appointed Knight Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit in 2009, recognizing “meritorious service”. I understand that Sir John is still living in the Franklin district and has, a year or so ago, called into the i-SITE info Centre at Bombay, when we still had the i-SITE’s in our area, and the Bombay office was also the local post centre.
and back to cricket again
– we also have another well known cricketer in our midst – well not literally any more, but Ian Gareth Butler grew up with his brother in Tuakau, (we still consider that to be Franklin!), where I used to occasionally run into his mother and his father, at one stage, had the job of school bus driver for the Harrisville school
Ian first appeared on the scene with the NZ Blackcaps cricket team in 2002 when he was selected to play in and ODI against England, in Christchurch. Pretty good really as he didn’t start playing cricket until he was 12, when many other top cricketers began playing at a younger age than that!
and just for a change of pace – those of you who listen to ZM will know that our own Paul Flynn (aka Flynny) was born in these parts too. Although Flynny talks about his younger days in the area, on his radio show with Jay and Jacqui, he is a bit hard to track down too many details of, people do need their privacy though. Paul went to Pukekohe High school, but now lives closer to Auckland city with his wife and 3 kids and works on ZM’s Drive show from 3 – 7 weekdays. Go Flynny 🙂
another sporting legend is Andy Dalton – although Andy was born in Dunedin, he moved to Bombay in 1975, where he began a career as a farm advisor. Andy earned his first cap with the All Blacks on their 1977 Tour of France. By 1981 he had become the regular All Blacks hooker and when he became Captain of the All Blacks, he lead the team against the Lions in the 1983 tour. He won the rep selection for the first time, with Counties Manukau and was coach of Counties from 1989 – 1991 and then on to become president of NZRU from 1999 – 2000. Andy still operates his farm in the Bombay Hills.
so there we go – a few more well known people from our area! but there are still more out there!

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