|Full name||Hampton Neil Dansie|
2 July 1928|
Nuriootpa, South Australia, Australia
|Domestic team information|
Source: Cricinfo, 19 Dec 2008
Nicknamed "Nodder" due to his habit of nodding in agreement when in conversation, Dansie was born in Nuriootpa, South Australia, the grandson of Sam Dansie, a leading country cricketer who represented a Broken Hill team against the touring Marylebone Cricket Club side. Dansie moved to Adelaide with his family as a child and excelled in a wide range of sports, including cricket, Australian rules football and baseball. Dansie made his first grade cricket debut for Kensington Cricket Club aged 15, one of the youngest ever debutants in the South Australian Grade Cricket League. His football career also developed, making his senior debut for Norwood Football Club in the South Australian National Football League (SANFL) in 1946. Dansie played 39 games for Norwood before retiring in 1949, aged just 21, in order to concentrate on his cricket.
In January 1949 Dansie was the last player to bat with Don Bradman in an official match, who played his final innings for Kensington against Port Adelaide Cricket Club at Alberton Oval. When Bradman was given out caught behind on 38, the large crowd booed the umpire and promptly adjourned to the neighbouring Alberton Hotel.
Dansie made his first-class cricket debut on 27 January 1950 on the WACA Ground against Western Australia, making 36 and 13. Dansie quickly gained a reputation as a hard-hitting batsman with a liking for the pull, sweep and cut shots and a steady off-spin and leg-spin bowler, as well as being known as one of the great characters of South Australian cricket, including gaining the title of being the world's fastest eater. Dansie's best batting performance was 185 against Queensland at the Gabba in January 1951 and took five wickets for 61 against Queensland in December 1960.
In 1955, Dansie signed with Lancashire League club Todmorden (for ₤550) on the advice of former Australian Test cricketer and Bacup Cricket Club professional Arthur Richardson. In his first season Dansie made 800 runs and took 44 wickets. Re-signed by Todmorden for the 1956 season, Dansie remained in England in 1955/56 and worked at Alf Gover's indoor cricket centre, coaching children who hadn't played cricket before, experience which Dansie later used as a coach in South Australia. In the 1956 Lancashire League season Dansie made 713 runs and scored 67 wickets. A popular figure in Todmorden, Dansie was offered another contract but, having gotten married to Gwenda, Dansie returned to South Australia.
Dansie retired from first-class cricket in 1967, after 124 matches and was awarded honorary membership of the South Australian Cricket Association. Following his retirement, Dansie turned to coaching and administration, coaching the Norwood reserves, South Australian Amateur Football League (SAAFL) team Payneham, the SAAFL state team and the All-Australian amateur team. Additionally, Dansie and his wife founded the Newton Jaguars Netball Club.
In 1976 Dansie was made a selector for the South Australian senior cricket side and all its under-age and women's teams, serving for 30 years. Dansie also served on the SACA board for 25 years, on the City of Campbelltown council and as president of the Australian Sportsmen's Association. Dansie also found time to work for the South Australian Education Department, including many years as the bursar at Norwood Morialta High School.
Known as "The Patriarch of South Australian cricket", the Neil Dansie Trophy for South Australia's most valuable player each season is named in his honour and, along with his former team mate Les Favell, are honoured in the Favell-Dansie Indoor Centre at the southern end of Adelaide Oval, behind the Sir Donald Bradman Stand.
- Pollard, J. (1988) Australian Cricket: The Game and its Players, Angus & Robertson Publishing, North Ryde.
- Capel, A. "Glenelg young gun has a shot", The Advertiser, 31 October 2006
- "Neil Dansie", CKCricket Heritage "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 5 March 2009. Retrieved 1 January 2009. Accessed 12 January 2009
- Shiell, A. (2008) "'Nodda' Dansie celebrates 80", The Independent Weekly, 27 June 2008.
- Cricket Archive, "Western Australia v South Australia", http://www.cricketarchive.co.uk/Archive/Scorecards/19/19174.html Accessed 16 January 2009
- Cricket Archive, "Queensland v South Australia", http://www.cricketarchive.co.uk/Archive/Scorecards/19/19605.html Accessed 16 January 2009
- Cricket Archive, "South Australia v Queensland", http://www.cricketarchive.co.uk/Archive/Scorecards/24/24564.html Accessed 16 January 2009
- Lancashire Telegraph, "Stubborn Dansie was irremovable", 23 July 2007
- Cricinfo staff, "Tait voted South Australia's best", 12 April 2007 http://content-usa.cricinfo.com/australia/content/story/289980.html Accessed 31 December 2008