Ricky Ponting wasn't the only Australian great who rolled back years at the SCG this week. Former Prime Minister, Bob Hawke, who in his younger days held a record of sorts for chugging down beer, showed he's lost none of his swigging swagger as he sculled a glass of beer with delirious fans cheering on his quaffing feat.
Soon after Ponting completed his hundred, fans presented Hawke with a cup of beer. “One for the country, Robert,” yelled a spectator, a challenge the former Prime Minister had no qualms accepting.
He may not have the record speed of his younger days, but he showed he’s lost none of his swilling technique as he finished it in one big gulp. The moment was captured on camera by one of the fans who posted it on YouTube, where the video went viral.
Hawke, who once had his spectacles smashed while playing a cricket match between Parliamentarians and the Press, wrote of his beer-guzzling record in his 1994 book ‘The Hawke Memoirs’. In his days as student at Oxford, he'd downed two-and-a-half pints of beer, the equivalent of a yard of ale, from a sconce pot in 11 seconds.
“I inadvertently achieved notoriety as a result of one of the quaint and ancient customs of my college. A system operated at dinner in the Great Hall under which if an offence was committed — in my case coming to dinner without a gown (some bastard had borrowed mine) — one was ‘sconced’,” he wrote in the book. “This meant having to drink two-and-a-half pints of ale out of an antique pewter pot in less than 25 seconds. Failure to do so involved paying for the first drink, plus another two-and-a-half pints. “My chance of avoiding payment lay in downing the ale within the limit and hoping that the Sconcemaster — the President of the Junior Common Room — could not beat my time. I was too broke for the fine and necessity became the mother of ingestion. I downed the contents of the pot in eleven seconds, left the Sconcemaster floundering, and entered the Guinness Book of Records with the fastest time ever recorded. This feat was to endear me to some of my fellow Australians more than anything else I ever achieved.”