Sport

Name
Photo
Biography

Garry Barton

1944 -

Garry Barton

Garry Barton, who has spent his whole life in Maitland, was one of the world’s most elite barefoot water skiers when he competed. He was Australian Open Men’s Champion four times and went on to coach the Australian Barefoot Water Ski Team in the 1980s. Garry also designed skiing equipment, including a brand new style of wetsuit. Garry was a great cyclist too, and has a NSW Country Cycle Championship to his name. Garry was also named Maitland Mercury Sportsman of the decade for 1970 to 1979.

Dennis Blunden

1936 - 2009

Dennis Blunden

Originally from Queensland, Dennis Blunden lived in Maitland for 39 years. He became one of Australia’s premier cyclists and won club, state and Australian titles. He improved with age, won world titles as a veteran and was named NSW Veteran Cyclist of the Year. Dennis was a level one coach and was president of Newcastle Velodrome Trust for 10 years. He was Maitland Senior Sportsman of the Year in 2006 and Newcastle Senior Sportsman of the Year in 2007.

James Leslie Darcy (Les Darcy)

1895 - 1917

James Les Darcy

Born in Woodville, boxing champion Les Darcy lived in Maitland for 21 years. He was the Australian World Middleweight champion and also claimed the Australian Heavyweight title in 1916. He was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1993 and the World Boxing Hall of Fame in 1998. Five years later he was inducted into the Australian National Boxing Hall of Fame. He is remembered as one of the most gifted Australians ever to enter the ring.

Kelly Driffield

1980 -

Kelly Driffield

Kelly Driffield is one of the best open water swimmers Australia has produced. She has won countless open water events and was world number three in 1998. She won silver at the Oceania Games in 1997 and broke world records that same year. She represented Australia at the 1998 FINA World Cup Series, became the Australian Open champion and claimed the Ocean Marathon at Atlantic City, USA. She has also coached Masters and Disabled Squads at the University of Newcastle.

William Johnson

1956 -

William Johnson

Martial Arts expert William Johnson has been based in Maitland for the last 23 years. He owns and runs the popular Kombat Academy and he presents at national and international martial arts conventions. He has his sixth Dan Black Belt by two different Martial Arts Associations. He was inducted into the Philippine Martial Arts Hall of fame in 2015 and the Australasian Martial Arts Hall of Fame in 2016.

Tom Maguire

1893 - 1969

Tom Maguire

Tom Maguire established himself as one of Australia’s most successful boxing trainers. He helped Fonce Mexon, Billy Yates and many other Australians to achieve 17 Australian Championships. He worked out of a gym in Hamilton and was also well regarded for his brilliant mind and keen business acumen.

Fonce Mexon

1899 - 1950

Fonce Mexon

Boxer Fonce Mexon was born in Millers Forrest and spent most of his life in the Hunter Region. In 1923, Fonce became the Australian Heavyweight Champion. He was extremely light on his feet and was known for his hard work in the gym and intense thirst for victory. Fonce was also renowned for his exceptional skills on the dancefloor.

Gai Taylor

1963 -

Gai Taylor

Gai Taylor, who was born and lives in Maitland, is an exceptionally talented sportswoman. She played touch football when she was younger and was in the NSW Touch Football Team in 1985 and the national team in 1986. She represented her state and country for 15 years and went to three worlds cups (one as captain). In 1991 Gai founded a local junior touch competition and she has coached many teams. Gai has also won BMX State and National racing titles over the last eight years.

Ken Tubman

1915 - 1993

Ken Tubman spent his whole life in Maitland and will be remembered as a great man and one of the country’s most successful rally drivers. He drove rally cars for over 40 years and won the first Australian Redex Trial in 1953. 17 years later he won the second Special World Cup Rally. In 1978 he helped organise another World Cup Rally. Locally, Ken operated Tubman’s Pharmacy on High Street, Maitland.