Bergin, Stanley Francis (1925–69), cricketer and journalist, was born 19 November 1925 at 8 St John's Road, Sandymount, Dublin, as Stanislaus Mary Bergin, youngest of seven sons of Bernard Christopher Bergin, assistant director GPO, and Mary Bergin (née Garvey). He was educated at the CBS, Westland Row. On leaving school he became a sports reporter with the Irish Independent, where he covered Gaelic games under the pen-name ‘Moltóir’. Although he played Gaelic games at school and rugby with Monkstown, cricket was to become his main sporting interest. At 15 he had won a place on the first eleven of the Pembroke club, whose grounds were a few hundred yards from his home. He was a left-handed batsman who generally opened the innings. He played for the Pembroke team for twenty-five years, scoring 7,713 runs and winning the Marchant cup for the highest batting average in Leinster club cricket on four occasions. He made in 1949 the first of fifty-three appearances for what was still called the Gentlemen of Ireland side, and when he retired (1965) he had made a total of 2,524 runs, which was then a record for an Irish international batsman. He scored centuries in matches against Scotland (1959, 1961). But his most memorable innings was against the touring South Africans at College Park in 1951, when he scored an undefeated 79 out of a team total of 129 on a difficult wicket against Cuan McCarthy and Tuffy Mann, two of the finest bowlers of the age.
He acquired eminence as a batsman without the advantage of formal coaching, and despite poor eyesight, which necessitated heavy spectacles. Always courageous and immensely determined and defiant, he had deadly concentration and a fine defence. He was especially skilful in not playing a ball if he did not have to. But his only attacking shots were the pull to leg and the square cut, both off the back foot, and he rarely scored runs rapidly. Smallish in stature, he was highly combative in his approach to the game and quick to take offence and blame teammates or umpires. He did not enjoy good relations with the cricket authorities, and in 1960 he was omitted from the Irish team because he had defied them in accepting an award for ‘cricketer of the year’ sponsored by Caltex Ltd. Despite his success he remained modest in his demeanour. His lifestyle was austere and puritanical; he never used foul language, drank alcohol, or owned a car. He may not have been liked by everybody, but he was universally and justly respected.
As a sports reporter on the Irish Independent he ran into difficulties when the GAA banned him because he played cricket; he had to play under the assumed name of ‘B. Stanley’. He moved to the Irish Times, where he was chief sports sub-editor and cricket and hockey correspondent. He later returned to the Independent group as sports news editor for all their newspapers. He was a master of the techniques of newspaper production and was reliable as a reporter. But his commentary tended to be bland; the grit and combativeness that made him such a good cricketer was absent from his journalism.
He retired from cricket in 1966 and concentrated on golf as a member of the Clontarf club, situated near Castle Ave. where he lived. A heavy smoker all his life, he died suddenly 4 August 1969 from a heart attack of which he had no warning. He was survived by his wife Rita (née Foster), whom he had married in 1953, and eight children, the youngest of whom was 3 at the time of his death. He left estate valued at £5,363. His brother Bernard Francis Bergin (d. 1985) also played cricket for Ireland.