27 January 2016, Crown Palladium, Melbourne, Australia
Don't worry, I won't keep you long.
Cricket was something I could do for fun ... I think anyone who knows me would realise that, and we were lucky in our day, we could play for fun.
I admire these guys who play now, they’ve got to work their arses off, they got to play that much cricket, I mean all the stuff they’ve got to put up with. All the press, all the media everything like that.
We didn’t have to put up with any of that stuff.
I know this is going to shock you, I’m actually gone a bit soft in my old age ... no it’d be hard work, it’d be hard work.
We flew under the radar. I used to play football in the off-season so I could get away from cricket. I didn’t have to do it 12 months of the year. I don’t know how they do it 12 months of the year, these blokes. They wonder why they all break down, why wouldn’t they break down. Christ almighty.”
I’m amazed, myself here tonight. You get old ... I’m 65 years old and everything shrinks when you get older, that’s why I’m happy to wear coats and all this shit— you don’t show your arms, y’know. .
“Even my eyeballs are shrinking. I had to go to Specsavers the other day and you wouldn’t believe it, the only good thing about getting old I found, they gave me these glasses for close up so they magnify everything.
I used them in the shithouse just before and I was pretty happy with what I had down there.
I’ve just got to get a pair for my wife.
No seriously. I’ll tell you why it’s a big honour, to follow Wally Grout. Now seriously, Nelma used to umpire me, I mean how do you reckon that went, Wally Grout’s daughter used to umpire me at Toombul -- Wally and I both played for Toombul, not together, she was the umpire in the games.
I was a quiet bloke, I think Nelma will tell you I didn’t sledge too much, especially girl umpires and that. We had a great time. And several other blokes ... Ian Davis came up and played with us. So we had a few Australian players in that side. In that club, throughout the years.
So it’s a real big buzz.
For me it’s all about the kids, my wife down there, all the shit she’s had to put up with for 40 years, I mean she didn’t get all the trips you girls down here get now, I’ll tell you that
Mate, we had to sneak them in on planes ... they used to stay in some shit-hole down the road. I’m serious. All the blokes will tell you ... no wonder half of them are divorced. No, not really.
She’s a wonderful girl, and to put up with all of my crap is so good, and I got three wonderful boys from them,
But it’s all about, I mean the reason you’re here, What I’m happy about is all the parents — my parents, my old man is dead, my mum is still alive, she’s 97 … thank Christ, I hope I don’t last that long … not the way I drink. I’m going to run out of money very shortly, especially tonight —
It’s all those people that help you as kids ... you know the ones that don’t come in this room tonight, the ones that do all the shit when you’re a kid, taking you to the games.
And they never be here. They’re never the recognised ones … but they’re the ones that took you to all those game,and they sit back, and they’re the ones that ring you up and say ‘well done’.
So it’s for those people, yeah. Thank you.