Pharmacy’s sporting heroes

winner award

We take a look at some pharmacists who have made a name for themselves on the sporting field

Jane Crafter

Jane Crafter reports for ESPN in 2014 (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)

Golf champion Jane Crafter was a pharmacist for three years before her golfing career took off.

Born in 1955, Jane won two Australian Ladies Masters tournaments (1992 and 1996) and the 1997 Australian Ladies Open. She also had one LPGA tour win in the US (the Phar-Mor tournament in 1990).

Originally from Adelaide, Jane studied at the South Australian Institute of Technology. She moved to the US in 1981, becoming a dual US‑Australian citizen in 2007. She currently competes on the US Legends circuit.

Jane lists her hobbies as collecting both gold and pharmacy antiques.

The stats:

  • LPGA Tour wins (1): 1990 The Phar-Mor at Inverrary (runner-up at the 1992 Ping-Cellular One LPGA Golf Championship
  • ALPG Tour wins (3): 1992 Alpine Australian Ladies Masters
    1996 Alpine Australian Ladies Masters
    1997 Toyota Women’s Australian Open
  • Other wins (1): 1987 JCPenney Classic (with Steve Jones)
  • Legends Tour wins (1): 2013 Fry’s Desert Golf Classic (with Betsy King)


Darryl Wakelin

Born in 1974, Darryl Wakelin was a defender who played 261 AFL games for St Kilda and Port Adelaide from 1995 to 2007, including winning the 2004 premiership with Port.

In 1994 he played in a premiership with Port Adelaide’s SANFL team, winning the Jack Oatey Medal for best on ground.

In 1995, Darryl began his AFL career at St Kilda, alongside twin brother Shane, going on to play in the club’s 1996 AFL Ansett Australia Cup winning side.

At the end of the 2000 season, Wakelin was traded to Port Adelaide, staying with the club to win the 2004 premiership.

In 2007, Darryl played his 250th game, before retiring at the end of the season — with his last game being the club’s loss in the 2007 Grand Final.

After retiring, Wakelin worked in his Alberton Pharmacy and played for amateur football teams. He also served three years on the board of the Port Adelaide Football Club from 2008.

Darryl Wakelin is currently part-owner of the Iron Pharmacy Group, which operates more than 30 pharmacies across Australia and in particular in remote indigenous communities.

The stats:

  • St Kilda 1995-2000: 115 games
  • Port Adelaide 2001-07: 146 games
  • Premiership player 1994 (SANFL), 2004 (AFL)
  • Port Adelaide Best Team Man 2005


John Worsfold

(Photo by Michael Dodge/Getty Images)

AFL player and coach John Worsfold graduated from Curtin University, Perth, in 1989 and worked as a pharmacist “for an amount of time”.

Born in Subiaco in 1968, John played a season for South Fremantle in the Western Australian Football League (WAFL) before becoming an inaugural member of the West Coast Eagles in the AFL in 1987.

He played 207 games for the Eagles from 1987 to 1998, and was captain from 1991, leading the club twice to premiership glory — in 1992 and 1994.

Worsfold also appeared in five State of Origin matches for Western Australia, captaining his state twice.

He returned to the Eagles as coach from 2002 to 2013, winning another premiership in 2006 before enduring a controversial period which included the Ben Cousins drug saga.

After a two-year absence from coaching, Worsfold was appointed senior coach of Essendon for the 2016 season, leading the club as it dealt with the aftermath of its own drug scandal.

The stats:

  • South Fremantle (WAFL) 1986-87: 24 games
  • West Coast (AFL) 1987-98: 209 games, captain 1991-98
  • West Coast Club Champion: 1988
  • 2 x AFL Premiership: 1992, 1994
  • Coaching: AFL Premiership: 2006
  • 2 x AFLCA Coach of the Year: 2006, 2011


Pat Howard

A pharmacist and Rugby Union international for Australia, Pat Howard has also had a controversial stint as team performance manager for the Australian cricket team (which ended last week).

Born in 1973, the son and grandson of Wallaby internationals (his grandfather is Australian Rugby legend Cyril Towers), Pat studied pharmacy at the University of Queensland and has worked at family pharmacies in between sporting roles.

Pat had a distinguished sporting career as a fly-half or centre, playing 20 tests for the Australian Rugby Union team (the Wallabies) from 1993 to 1997, a period which coincided with the game turning professional.

He was an inaugural member of the ACT Brumbies when Super Rugby began in 1996, playing for them through to 1998, before moving to English club Leicester, winning the 2001 Heineken Cup.

After retiring as a player, Pat was later a coach and director at Leicester from 2004 to 2007.

Returning to Australia with the intention of managing the family’s pharmacy businesses, Pat was appointed general manager of the Australian Rugby Union’s high performance unit.

Since October 2011, he had been the General Manager, Team Performance for the Australian Cricket Team, before stepping down recently.

The stats:

  • Australia – 20 tests from 1993 (debut v New Zealand) to 1997 (v Scotland). Scored 2 tries for Australia
  • Club: ACT Brumbies (1996-8, 2001), Leicester Tigers (1998-2001), Montferrand (2002-4)


Ian Dick

Ian Robinson Dick (30 August 1926 – 5 September 2012) was an Australian field hockey player and captain, an interstate cricketer and a pharmacist.

Ian played one Sheffield Shield cricket match for Western Australia in 1950 (against Queensland, scoring 27 and 0), but had a long career as Australian hockey representative and captain.

Ian made his hockey debut for Western Australia in 1946, and his debut for Australia in 1948.

An inside forward, he represented Australia in every match from 1948 to 1958, with his career highlight being to captain the team at the 1956 Olympic Games in Melbourne. This was actually Australia’s first Olympic hockey competition, and Ian scored Australia’s first goal in Olympic competition.

Ian Dick was inducted in the Western Australian Hockey Hall of Champions in 1991, and was inducted into the Hockey Australia Hall of Fame in 2008.

He was the owner of Ingleworth Pharmacy.

The stats:

  • Australia – played 15 internationals,1948-58. Scored 7 goals
  • Played for WA in hockey 1946-59 and cricket 1950-51
  • Captained WA Colts cricket vs England (1950/51)


Geoff Vaughan

Dr Geoffrey Vaughan AO, was Dean of the Victorian College of Pharmacy (“VCP”) from 1979 to 1986, as well as an Australian Rugby Union international.

Geoff, who passed away earlier this year at the age of 84, was a well-known figure in academia for many years.

Before this, however, Geoff (9 April 1933 – 4 January 2018), was a rugby union prop forward who represented Australia in six tests. He played club Rugby in Sydney for Western Suburbs and Drummoyne through the early 1950s before transferring to Melbourne in 1956 and won national selection while playing for the Melbourne University club and Victoria.

He was selected for the 1957–58 Australian Wallabies tour of Britain, Ireland, France, the USA and Canada — playing in the tests against England, Scotland and France.

He was also vice-captain of the Australian team that played three matches against the New Zealand Maori side in 1958.

The stats:

  • 6 tests for Australia 1957-58 (0 points)
  • Debut v England 1957


Maddie Hills


Madeline Hills (née Heiner; born 15 May 1987) is an Australian runner who placed fourth in the women’s 3000 metres steeplechase at the 2014 Commonwealth Games.

Maddie also finished eighth in the 10,000 metres at the recent 2018 Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast.

Born in Shellharbour, New South Wales, Maddie represented Australia in the 1500 metres at the 2004 World Junior Championships in Grosseto, but was eliminated in the heats. At the Commonwealth Youth Games later that year, she won gold in the 3000 metres and bronze in the 1500 metres.

After an injury before the 2006 World Junior Championships, she studied pharmacy and did not return to the track after recovering from the injury.

However, in 2013, actively working as a pharmacist while also continuing her studies, Maddie decided to resume running.

Qualifying for the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, she represented Australia in the 3000 metres steeplechase, placing fourth in a personal best time of 9:34.01.

She was Australian senior champion for the first time in 2015, winning the 5000 metres title.
Maddie also competed in the 2015 World Championships in both the steeplechase and the 5000 metres and the 2016 Summer Olympics in both the 3000 m steeplechase and the 5000 metres.

She placed seventh in the steeplechase final and tenth in the 5000m final.

The stats:

  • Personal best(s) 1500 m – 4:06.47 (2016)
  • 3000 m – 8:44.20 (2015)
  • 3000 m Steeplechase – 9:20.38 (2016)
  • 5000 m – 15:04.05 (2016)
  • 10,000 m – 31:41.10 (2017)


Kade Harvey

A more recent pharmacist cricketer, Kade Harvey (born 1975) played for Western Australia in both Sheffield Shield and one day cricket for over a decade.

A successful national Under 19 carnival in 1994 won him a spot at the Australian Cricket Academy and in a national team which met an Indian youth side in early 1995.

He made his state debut in the 1995/96 season, but gradually became selected more as a specialist one-day player.

He won the ‘Best New Talent’ award in the Mercantile Mutual Cup season of 1996-97, and was part of two sides which won limited overs titles for the state.

When he retired he was only the second bowler to have taken 100 ING Cup wickets.

Kade was additionally a dual winner of the Olly Cooley Medal – awarded to the best player in Perth grade competition – having claimed the accolade in successive seasons in 1998-99 and 1999-2000.

The stats:

  • Played for Western Australia 1995-2004
  • First-class – 60 wickets at 35.35, 740 runs at 24.66
  • One day – 115 wickets at 26.09, 829 runs at 21.81


Denise Annetts

One of Australia’s greatest cricketers, Denise Annetts set many records during her career.

A school captain in both cricket and hockey, Denise (born in 1964) played first grade cricket at 14, and debuted for New South Wales at only 18 years of age. She also played hockey for the state.

Denise made her cricket one day international debut against New Zealand in 1985, and her test debut on the 1987 tour of England. During that tour she was involved in a world record 309 run third-wicket partnership in only her second test, scoring 193 runs herself. This was, for many years, a test record.

She also held the record for the fastest women’s cricket century (in 102 balls, against England), and hit the winning runs for Australia in the 1988 World Cup, held in Australia.

Playing during a period before the current era of professional women’s cricket, Denise (now going by her married name of Denise Anderson) maintained her career as a pharmacist in the northern suburbs of Sydney.

Denise and her family have had lengthy involvement with local cricket and rugby league clubs.

The stats:

  • 10 Tests (1987-1992) scoring 819 runs (average 81.90) with 2 centuries
  • 43 ODI’s (1985-1993) scoring 1126 runs (average 41.70) with 1 century
  • 1987 NSW Sportswoman of the Year (and national runner-up)
  • Has the highest test batting average of any living cricketer, male or female


Ian Craig

Australian cricketer Ian Craig, 1956. (Photo by Keystone/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Ian David Craig OAM (12 June 1935 – 16 November 2014) was a cricketer who represented Australia in 11 Tests from 1953 to 1958.

Ian was the youngest Australian to make a first-class double century, to appear in a Test match (at age 17 years 239 days), and to captain his country (at age 22).

Ian debuted for NSW at age 16 in 1951/52. In the next season he scored 213 not out for state against the touring South Africans, subsequently being selected as Australia’s youngest ever test debutant, making 53 and 47 on debut against South Africa.

He was also the youngest Ashes tourist to England in 1953, also touring again in 1956.

In 1957, he was appointed Australian captain to tour South Africa. His youthful team won the series in South Africa 4-0, but a loss of form and illness forced him out of the team after this series.

Craig made a comeback for NSW, but work commitments forced him to retire from first-class cricket at only 26 years of age.

Ian worked mainly in the pharmaceutical industry, becoming managing director of the Australian subsidiary of Boots. He was for many years a trustee of the Bradman Museum (where this writer had the pleasure of interviewing him in 2005) and was the patron of Pharmacy Cricket.

The stats:

  • Australia – 11 tests (1953-8) 358 runs at 19.88, 1 century
  • NSW – 1951/2-1961/2, 7,328 runs at 27.96

Appendix: Some overseas sporting pharmacists

William Morris “Willie” Llewellyn (1 January 1878 – 12 March 1973) was a Welsh international rugby union player. He captained Wales in 1905 and London Welsh in 1902. He was a member of the winning Welsh team who beat the 1905 touring All Blacks, toured with the British Isles to Australasia in 1904 and won three Triple Crown trophies. He played club rugby for many teams, predominantly for Llwynypia and Newport.

Around 1905 Llewellyn opened a pharmacy in his birth town of Tonypandy. It is reported that during the 1910 Tonypandy Riot the rioters left Llewellyn’s pharmacy unscathed due to his sporting celebrity.

Xenophon Constantine Balaskas (15 October 1910 – 12 May 1994), sometimes known as Xen or Bally, was a South African all-round cricketer who scored 2,696 first-class runs at 28.68 and took 276 wickets at 24.11 with his leg-spin bowling.

Born in Kimberley to Greek immigrant parents, Balaskas made his first-class debut for Griqualand West in 1926/27, but did not really break through until 1929/30 when he topped both the runs and wickets lists in the Currie Cup by taking 39 wickets with his leg-spin and scoring 644 runs at over 80, including a career-best 206.

The following season he made his Test match debut against England. In 1931/32 he toured Australia and New Zealand with South Africa, but could make the Test side only against NZ, scoring a century. His next Test appearances came in England in 1935, and at Lord’s he took 5/49 and 4/54.

Balaskas took nine wickets in three Tests against Australia the following winter, and played his last test against England at Cape Town in 1938/39.

Tabitha Peterson (born March 6, 1989 in Burnsville, Minnesota) is an American curler from Eagan, Minnesota.

As a junior, Peterson was a four-time state champion curler, and won U.S. national junior championships in 2009 and 2010, representing the United States at the 2009 and 2010 World Junior Curling Championships.

At senior level she has competed in four world championships from 2012 to 2017, as well as at the 2016 Winter Olympics.

Peterson studied at the Minnesota College of Pharmacy, and currently still works as a pharmacist as her day job.

David Jefferson “Davy” Jones (June 30, 1880 – March 30, 1972), nicknamed ’Kangaroo’ was a Major League Baseball outfielder over fifteen seasons with the Milwaukee Brewers, St. Louis Browns, Chicago Cubs, Detroit Tigers, Chicago White Sox, and Pittsburgh Rebels.

He played in the major leagues from 1901 to 1918, compiling a .270 career batting average with over 1,000 hits.

In 1910, during his playing days, he purchased a drug store in Detroit with his brother, whose education in pharmacy he had paid for, and after retiring from baseball he himself qualified as a pharmacist at the University of Southern California.

Jones spent much of his career playing outfield with the Detroit Tigers, alongside Hall of Fame outfielders, Ty Cobb and Wahoo Sam Crawford. With Cobb and Crawford solidly entrenched in the outfield, Jones was forced to battle for the 3rd outfield spot with Matty McIntyre each year from 1906 to 1910.

In three World Series for the Tigers from 1907-9, Jones played in 18 games, had a .357 on-base percentage, scored 8 runs, and had a home run in the 1909 Series against the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Tarryn Davey (born 29 February 1996) is a New Zealand field hockey player.  

A current representative, who debuted for her country in 2016 and became a regular selection in 2017, Tarryn has already gathered 37 national team caps.

A midfielder and defender, she participated at the recent 2018 Women’s Hockey World Cup in London and the 2018 Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast.

Tarryn is studying pharmacy at the University of Auckland.

Geraint Jones (born 1976) was a former England wicketkeeper who played in the famous 2005 Ashes series victory.

Born in Papua New Guinea, but with Welsh parents, Geraint grew up in Brisbane where he took the most dismissals in first grade cricket in 1995/96. He moved to Wales in 1998, studying pharmacy in Abergavenny while also playing cricket.

He started his country cricket career with Kent in 2001, and made his England debut in the 2003/4 tour of the West Indies.

Geraint played 34 tests through to the 2006/7 tour of Australia, as well as 51 ODI’s for England.

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NOTICE: It can sometimes take awhile for comment submissions to go through, please be patient.


  1. Hussein Saab

    Add NZ spin bowler Daniel Vettori.

  2. Gordon Smoth

    Like MacFarlane former Hawthorn and Dockers AFL footballer

  3. William Kelly

    Add Craig Serjeant Test cricketer and Kerry Hore Olympic medalist and world champion rower

  4. Tegan

    Elise Kellond-Knight plays for Matildas.

  5. Jarrod McMaugh

    Michael Troy is a handy cyclist I believe…..

  6. Notachemist

    Des Meagher, former Director of Pharmacy Box Hill Hospital, was a rangy left-footed wingman in the team that won the 1971 premiership, the first of eight in 21 years for the Hawks, a run of success unequalled in post-war football. Meagher played 199 games for Hawthorn from 1966-76, and made state teams in 1967 and 1973. He later coached the Hawks reserves for 14 years. RIP 9/3/2011 aged 67 years.

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