Photo Credit: Facebook Photo of Parramatta District Cricket Club
Cricket NSW is saddened to hear of the passing last week of one of the game’s longest servants, John Aitken.
‘JA’ was a stalwart of the Parramatta District Cricket Club, where he was bestowed with Life Membership for his contribution to the club, which included 42 years as a player starting in the 1958/59 season, 8,377 runs across all five grades and a first grade premiership amongst a host of achievements.
He was made a Life Member of the Sydney Cricket Association, plus in 2006 was awarded a Lifetime in Cricket Award from the SCA. Up to the close of the 2012/13 season he was still captaining and playing in the Auburn Shire Club’s 4th grade team.
His family have shared his playing connection with the club, younger brother Bobby is Parramatta’s highest 1st grade wicket-taker, whilst nephews Robert, James and Glenn all played 1st grade for Parra and then went on to outstanding careers with the North Sydney club.
Aitken’s impact on the Parramatta club from a mentorship perspective was immense with decades and decades of young players guided through parts of their careers.
But perhaps his keen interest in grassroots local junior cricket development is what Aitken is best known for around the Parramatta district and the wider Sydney cricketing communities. He directed his vast cricketing knowledge towards assisting a range of Parramatta A.W. Green Shield coaches to prepare the club’s teams for this coveted competition. Many rising youngsters who profited from John’s encouragement will hold fond memories of his lively fielding drills.
Later in his life he also worked with the P.D.C.A.’s junior rep sides and he remained a key volunteer at the Parramatta District Cricket Club’s Academy.
Cricket NSW CEO Lee Germon praised Aitken’s contribution to cricket.
“It is with a heavy heart that I heard of the passing of John Aitken, a massive contributor to our great game as a player, mentor and volunteer,” Germon said.
“John’s love affair with cricket was well known throughout the game and the careers of so many players at the Parramatta club would look very different if not for John’s influence.
“We pass on our condolences to John’s family and friends and thank him for his lifelong commitment.”