Wayne Ross’ Backroom Boys
These lads are among cricket’s unsung royalty… they receive few official laurels but without them, cricket would be poorer. Here are 10 of the best:
Simon Fiedler served twenty-three Seasons as Club Secretary of the Mornington Cricket Club and Treasurer for six, has been on the Committee for 45 years, is Club Historian and Statistitian and was Men’s 1st XI Scorer for 20 years and Women’s Scorer for 11. He spent countless hours on the Club’s history which led to finding the Genesis of the Club which was founded in 1863 and which celebrated 150 years in 2013. In addition, he spent many years on the Executive as Treasurer of the Mornington Peninsula Cricket Association and is still its Historian. Simon undertook many, many hours as the unofficial Curator of the Association’s R.M.Hooper Oval and was responsible for its upkeep of the Oval and surrounds. For many years he transported the South East Country Region’s Under 18s around the State for the Pathways Championships.
Wayne Landry has played with the Baxter Cricket Club for the past 52 Seasons – more than 580 games – 9,000 runs and 400 wickets. Step into the Clubrooms and you’ll see plenty of Wayne Landry memorabilia adorning the walls, including the underpants he wore in 300 games and a pair of boots that he wore. The boots are reserved for players who must have a “shoey” the night of a Premiership win. He has been a magnificent contributor off the field as well, being a Committeeman for the past 47 years, having held many positions with the Club – the only one he hasn’t tried is that of President! He has also been instrumental in many major club initiatives and in 2014, his legendary status with the Baxter Cricket Club was formally recognised by the Frankston Council with Baxter’s Main Oval being named the “Wayne Landry Oval”.
Graham Cox put his hand up 25 years ago to help out with the Juniors at Long Island Cricket Club when his daughter, Debbie, showed some interest in playing the game. As his house backed onto Havanna Crescent Reserve where the Under 12s played and trained it was a no-brainer, particularly as he could sit under an umbrella with a couple of cold-ones in the afternoon when the Club’s senior lower XIs made their appearance. Over that period of time he has been an integral part of the cricketing development of hundreds of junior cricketers. He is now involved in the Milo Program and coaches the Club’s Girls team. In his spare time he marks the boundaries, stocks the Bar, cleans the Clubrooms and does repair work when required – you name it, Coxy has probably done it – and done it with aplomb!
Keith Thompson has undertaken the roles of President, Secretary and Treasurer and served on the Seville Cricket Club’s Executive Committee for 27 years, has been Secretary/Treasurer and Ground Manager of the Seville Recreation Reserve Committee of Management for 25 years and has run the Bar and all associated operations at the Club for 20 years. He has also been substantially involved with the Yarra Valley & District Cricket Association, the Melba Cricket Group, the South East Country Region and the Victorian Country Cricket League of which he has been Secretary since 2008. Thommo is one of the rare breed of men who seem to be able to cram 25 hours into each day!
Dick Parker joined the Boneo Cricket Club in 1960, soonafter joined the Committee – serving a total of twelve terms as President and four as Secretary, but it is his service to the Club and in particular the Boneo Reserve where he has been President to the Boneo Oval Committee of Management since 1956 and a Member of the Boneo Market Committee of Management for more than 30 years which has been his major impact on the Club. While Dick retired as a Boneo player many years ago, he still frequents the ground watching and judging the skills and techniques which abound. A very modest man, Dick Parker has had a profound influence on the Boneo Cricket Club and on hundreds of young men who have played with it.
Peter Flack‘s career in Cricket began at the age of 6 when he operated the Scoreboard at Windy Hill, a job he did for four years then he began playing the game. After a stint playing junior cricket, Pennant Tennis and Baseball, he rejoined – aged 24 – Essendon as Secretary (3 Seasons) then joined Coburg in the Subbies where he played for 26 Seasons. Peter coached Coburg’s Hatch Shield team for 13 Seasons, then Essendon’s Dowling Shield team for a couple, scored at Essendon for two more and after retiring as a player, returned to coaching Juniors and Seniors at Bundoora United for another 5 Seasons. He is currently Assistant Secretary of the Subbies – a position he has held since 1968 – handling all matters relating to Games!
John Craig‘s contribution as a player and off-field leader at both the Ormond Cricket Club and the Victorian Sub District Cricket Association is rarely, if at all, likely to be matched. An outstanding top-order batsman and brilliant fieldsman, John played 339 1st XI games over 29 seasons, scoring 8,963 runs and represented the VSDCA on six occasions. He was President of Ormond for 14 years and has given over 50 years of off-field service (he still gets out on the field to help with the Curation of the Gunn Reserve). Then there’s his 17 years on the Executive and 42 as a Delegate of the VSDCA. The Under 15 VSDCA competition (formerly thev is now named in his honour!
Brian Weightman first started playing cricket with the Mildura Community Centre Boys Club in 1946, moved to Mildura East to play senior Cricket in 1949 until his retirement in 1972. Since retiring as a player Brian’s involvement in Cricket Administration is legendary – in excess of 50 years on the Sunraysia Cricket Association, more than 30 years on the VCCL Executive Committee and an inaugural member of Mildura’s Willow Fest Committee. Brian has provided services as a Curator at Mildura East CC and for Workers/Gol Gol Clubs at Alcheringa, Coach, Team Manager & Bus Driver for Sunraysia’s Zone and Country Week teams for many years and as a Selector, Umpire and Scorer. It is however his contribution to the enjoyment of others, particularly youth, that Brian will be remembered.
Anthony “Pancho” Martin started his passion with Cricket as a boy on a grazing property in the Marnoo District, north of Stawell. After schooling at Geelong Grammar he returned to the land at Great Western and quickly became involved in Club and Association development – and after almost 50 years, his commitment has not waned – his work ethic within the Grampians Cricket Association and the Central Highlands Region is legendary. A Level-3 Coach (attained under Frank Tyson – becoming one of the first Country Cricketers to be awarded this) he has a keen eye for cricket potential and was one of the pioneers fostering female involvement in our great game.
Following a successful playing career dating from the mid-fifties to 1987, Norm Reeves (pictured) became President of the Ferntree Gully & District Cricket Association, and has been very much a hands-on President. He has acted as Umpires’ Appointments Officer, Tribunal Secretary, Publicity Officer, Selector and Team Manager and acts as Liaison Officer between the Assaociation and the Yarra Ranges Shire and the Knox City Council. On weekends he will visit four or five match venues taking the time to discuss any issues on the game with Club people. Norm is greatly admired and respected and is one of the most genuine men in the game both within his Association and throughout the Cricket community. He has received many Awards for his outstanding contributions to the game of Cricket – his finest being the recipient of the R.M.Merriman Award from the Victorian Country Cricket League.
To be continued!