Edward Trickett

Edward Trickett (1851 – 1916) sculler
Leaflets were written about Trickett in the 1890’s which said that as a Christian, “he was a better man in every way and happier than when he was the champion oarsman of the world.” Australia’s first sporting world champion discovered that a life of faith gave him what a life of fame could not.

Australians have always been focused on sporting success and the story of Australia’s first ever sporting world champion is a unique tale. Ned Trickett was born in Sydney and quickly became the best sculler in the country. In 1876, on the Thames in London, Trickett beat Joseph Sadler for the world sculling title. When Trickett arrived back in Australia, he was greeted at Sydney’s Circular Ouay by 30,000 people. He quickly became the nation’s sporting icon.

Later in life, Trickett fell on hard times and ended up walking the streets of Sydney desperate, depressed and suicidal. He came across a street preacher, a barrister by the name of EP Field. Moved by what he heard, he found a personal faith in Jesus.

Leaflets were written about Trickett in the 1890’s which said that as a Christian, “he was a better man in every way and happier than when he was the champion oarsman of the world.” Australia’s first sporting world champion discovered that a life of faith gave him what a life of fame could not.


Ned Trickett (circa 1879) Photo provided by the Trickett family.


Edward Trickett rowing in the United States



See also Edward Field https://atributetoaustralianchristians.wordpress.com/2016/11/29/e-p-field/

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4 thoughts on “Edward Trickett”

  1. Goodonyer Lyn !!
    Go! man GO!
    Like a bolt of lightning down the line Lyn flew!
    Holding the ball out gingerly, it seemed to too hot to touch,
    But running like the wind, you beat the galloping chasers flat
    With fiery red hair flying, you planted the winning try!

    A tribute! Remembering Lyndon Lockrey, School Captain of Canterbury Boys High.
    Rugby Union games.
    Harry Leesment

  2. Dear Editor,
    Thank you for you kind comments and offer. I’ve included the two poems I wrote about Great-grandfather below. The first I penned for the dedication of Ned’s new headstone in the Uralla Cemetery, 2003. The second, “New Hope in Moore Street”, I penned as I stood close to the place in Sydney where Moore Street used to be and thought about that special encountered he had with God. I would be happy to send a family photo of Ned Trickett in his rowing gear in his boat if you would like. I could forward it by email.
    God bless,
    Lyn Lockrey

    (Australia’s first Sporting World Champion.
    World Champion Sculler 1876 – 1880.)
    (With acknowledgement to Gordon Trickett’s book,
    ”Ned Trickett Champion Sculler of the World”)

    His father was a convict
    sent from England in disgrace.
    In Greenwich started quarrying,
    for a living in this place.

    Stone he cut, built Harbour walls,
    near Opera House and shoreline
    and young son Ned rowed that rock
    as if it were his pastime.

    Tall of frame and long of arm
    he trained on Sydney Harbour,
    rowed in Balmain regattas,
    won races with great ardour.

    Soon he was Australia’s champ,
    so they urged him on for more,
    to seek the World’s Rowing Crown
    on the Thames on England’s shore.

    Trained so hard, was very fit,
    chose to row with sliding seat.
    Convict’s son, the underdog,
    but would be no easybeat.

    In Eighteen Seventy Six
    Ned and Saddler rowed that race.
    The Aussie won the title,
    was the first to set the pace.

    When he sailed back to Sydney,
    twenty thousand lined the docks.
    Ned Trickett was their hero,
    from Tasmania to the Rocks.

    He gained much fame and fortune,
    kept himself quite fit and trim,
    defending his world title
    seemed an easy thing for him.

    Until in Eighteen Eighty,
    he could just resist no more
    that challenge from Ed Hanlan,
    so he left for England’s shore.

    Lost his title on the Thames
    and, although he’d not been well,
    he offered no excuses,
    a true sportsman, they all tell.

    It wasn’t easy after,
    running pubs became his call,
    in Sydney and Rockhampton,
    then the Ninety’s caused his fall.

    Lost his pub and everything
    so to Sydney he returned,
    desperate now to find a job,
    depressed, his own life he spurned.

    But as he walked that lonely path,
    sweet music caught his ear.
    He felt himself attracted
    and a message he did hear.

    Those songs, that word, spoke of God,
    Who cares for and loves mankind,
    Who offers full salvation
    for the needy soul to find.

    That night upon the pavement,
    he gave his heart to the Lord
    and asked God to forgive him,
    that price he couldn’t afford.

    His life was changed forever,
    shared his faith without flurry,
    started a job in Customs,
    at Moama on the Murray.

    He joined up with the Salvo’s,
    the ‘Warcry’ gave to travellers,
    told youth of the love of God,
    shared Jesus with the strangers.

    One day in Nineteen Sixteen,
    while mining in Uralla,
    the walls collapsed, burying him
    and killing this great fella.

    Today some special people
    have restored his monument.
    We’re here to celebrate him,
    for the special things he meant.

    He’s gone but his story lives
    within the hearts of family,
    on many plaques and papers,
    it is a good man’s story.

    If Ned could be here with us
    I’m sure that he’d want to say,
    he’d now won life’s greatest prize,
    rowing with Jesus is the way.

    c. By Lyn Lockrey (28/6/2003)
    Great grandson of Edward Trickett.

    (The place in Sydney, where Ned Trickett found new hope.
    Ned was Australia’s first Sporting World Champion,
    (Champion Sculler of the World 1876-1880) and my great-grandfather)

    I stood today where he had knelt,
    over a hundred years before.
    Strange music through my body felt,
    some hymns from way back yore.

    He’d rowed, been Champion of the World,
    true fame and fortune knew,
    till ’93, great ruin unfurled,
    now friends were just a few.

    He lost his pub and livelihood,
    sailed back to Sydney Town
    and hoped to find a job, some food,
    for family he’d let down.

    He walked the streets, no job to find
    and thought to take his life,
    for fate had dealt some cards unkind,
    he couldn’t face that strife.

    Depression struck this giant of men,
    his black dog had returned,
    he’d fallen to the depths again,
    his life he sadly spurned.

    But in Moore Street, he heard words fair,
    how God could change his life,
    he knelt upon the pavement there,
    found peace in place of strife.

    The preacher knowing, who he was
    soon found dear Ned a job
    with Customs, then joined the Salvos
    and lived his life for God.

    I stood as if on hallowed ground,
    tall buildings hemmed me in
    and pondered on a change profound,
    that brought NEW HOPE for him.
    Lyn Lockrey, (13/5/2007)

  3. How nice to see this article and Megan’s comments. I’m a great-grandson of Ned Trickett and have found his life and story a great inspiration too. My dear Mother, who died only last year at the age of 98 often told me of when great-grandfather visited their place in Campsie. She was four when he died in 1916 but remembered his visits so vividly and well. I’ve written a couple of poems about Ned and would be happy to send copies. I’m a Christian and look back on the heritage passed down to us with great gratitude.
    Lyn Lockrey

  4. As a sculler myself, I did a uni sports history assignment on Edward Trickett back in the 90’s. I got much of my information form old copies of newspapers from the Mitchell Library in Sydney. As a Christian myself this really was a nice surprise. Megan

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