July 6, 2001

Black Cap search successfully completed

Mission Accomplished. New Zealand Cricket has tracked down players to have represented the country in Test matches.

Players still living, or their descendants, have been receiving boxed special presentation black caps from NZC in a promotion aimed at recognising the part of those players in building New Zealand's place in the world game while also making the cap a prized possession for international players.

The job of tracking down the earliest Test players or their families has been the lot of NZC general manager Tim Murdoch and he was able to report today that the job is close to being collected.

Relying on contacts around the country who knew of the whereabouts of former players or their families, Murdoch had found all but two players, the deceased Sonny Moloney, a tourist to England in 1937 and Mal Matheson, who toured England in 1931.

It was Dunedin enthusiast, and CricInfo contributor Warwick Larkins who pieced together the final threads in NZC's search.

The Matheson saga was resolved by going back to the published death notice for Matheson and noting family members from that. The children had married and moved around the country.

But by consulting the Masterton phone book and checking out initials that were similar to the names in the death notice, Larkins rang a number of what he thought might be a daughter of Matheson, Catherine Penney. She confirmed that she was Matheson's daughter.

The clue for Moloney's family came from Larkins' father, Norrie. His father remembered that Sonny Moloney had a brother who became a surgeon, and that the brother had attended Otago Boys' High School.

Larkins consulted the OBHS register and found the name of Ted Moloney living at Oxford in England. He noted the address and then returned to Dunedin Library to find an old copy of the Oxford phone book.

The address he had from the register tied in with what was in the phone book, so he rang it.

It was the right Moloney all right, but Ted had died three years earlier. However, his wife Iris, who spoke to Larkins, and Ted had two sons and a daughter.

She said that there were no members of the Larkins family still living in New Zealand and she felt that one of Sonny Moloney's nephews, or his niece, might enjoy having their uncle's black cap.