Rob Aitken Claims Games Record

UTS North Sydney’s Rob Aitken played his 473rd first grade game on Saturday, surpassing the competition record held by Hawkesbury, Penrith and Bankstown legend, Ken Hall. Remarkably, Hall took the record from Rob’s father, Bob Aitken, who himself played 389 first grade games*.

Rob started his first grade career in 1992 for Fairfield-Liverpool before playing for Petersham-Marrickville and Parramatta. In 2001 Rob joined the Bears, where he has played over 300 of his first grade games.

Rob’s is a career littered with highlights, he played in the NSW U19 and U21 sides before earning a NSW 2nd XI selection. In the 2000/01 season, Rob won the coveted Bill O’Reilly Medal for the best player in Sydney Grade Cricket.

In 2012/13 Rob added the Michael Bevan Medal for the best player in the Sydney Grade Cricket limited overs final to his collection. In the process, he helped the Bears win their fifth limited overs title.

Rob is a unique cricketer, a once in a generation player. He is one of a handful of players in the world who have been able to master the ability to bowl the finger spun off and leg breaks – in the style of Iverson and Gleeson. As a result, he has been the object of much mystery, admiration and confusion, particularly by opposition batsmen, over 600 of whom have lost their wicket to his skilful deliveries.

Rob family presentation

He is also a hard-hitting batsman with over 11,000 first grade runs to his credit including 8 centuries and 58 fifties. His remarkable record sees him join Grant Lambert as the only players with 11,000 runs and 600 wickets in the over 125 year history of Sydney Grade Cricket.

Rob played much of his career with his two brothers James and Glenn at UTS North Sydney. James and Glenn have, themselves, forged formidable first grade careers, having played 299 and 279 games respectively. It is hard to imagine a family ever besting the Aitkens’ record of over 1400 first grade games. Rob's record appearance was, as always, strongly supported by his family at David Phillips Oval.

*When one-day matches were retrospectively added to first grade records in 2014/15, Bob’s career total was increased above that of Ken Gulliver (373 matches).

Video and story courtesy of and images courtesy of David James, Tony Johnson and Sarah Berman