Former Western Suburbs fast bowler and Assistant Coach of the NSW Blues, Phil Kelleard, has passed away aged 66.

Mr. Kelleard was the 436th player to represent the Western Suburbs District Cricket Club in the Sydney First Grade, now NSW Premier Cricket, competition. He claimed 381 wickets at 22.26 between 1972/73 and 1983/84.

He was the Assistant NSW Coach to Len Pascoe in 1987/88 and a member of the Blues coaching panel from 1987 to 1994. Mr Kelleard also coached in Queensland.

An aggressive fast bowler, Mr Kelleard returned 17 five-wicket hauls during his First Grade career, and on three occasions collected seven scalps in an innings, including best figures of 7-52.  

He was named the Sydney Cricket Association First Grade Captain of the Year in 1982/83 and won the Alan Davidson Award as Western Suburbs Player of the Year in 1976.

Mr Kelleard played in the 1970/71 and 1971/72 premiership sides for Wests captained by Australian Test and NSW great Bob Simpson. He debuted during the first of those premiership seasons on 25 October 1970 against the former Sydney club.

A long-time servant of the Western Suburbs District Cricket Club, Mr. Kelleard became a Life Member of the club in 1983 continuing a strong family tradition.

His brother Dennis, who was cap number 408 for Western Suburbs in First Grade, and both parents were also made Life Members.

Always interested in the progress of Western Suburbs, Mr Kelleard recently structured a recruitment network, through his extensive contact with past players, to assist Wests to identify and encourage country cricketers to join the Magpie ranks.

Mr Kelleard passed away peacefully on Friday 15 March.