Players relive past Grampians Cricket Association glory days

GRAMPIANS Cricket Association players from a bygone era reunited to celebrate the 50th anniversary of its 1968 Melbourne country week victory on Saturday evening.

More than 160 past players and officials to the opportunity to catch up while reminiscing about their glory days.

Association president Dave Turner said the night had been fantastic.

“There were some absolute legends of the association there,” he said.

“Inaugural association secretary Ray Blizzard was there and looking very jovial at the age of 91.

“He was the first guest interviewee, then we talked to Henry Gunstone who captained the 1968 side and several other people throughout the night.”

Eight of the 14 players from the winning 1968 country week side were in attendance while the recent Bendigo country week triumph was also celebrated.

Danny Lannen kept the night moving as the master of ceremonies while a special slideshow of photos also helped those in attendance look back on the association’s history.

The clubs threw their support behind the night by providing memorabilia and old scorecards that were scattered around the Alexandra Oval rooms.

“Steve Maddocks had some great stories to tell as well,” Turner said.

“He started his cricket here and went on to play premier cricket for a number of clubs and still coaches district sides.”

Turner said there was plenty of great stories told on the night but the one told by Maddocks after he was asked who was the quickest bowler he had seen stood out.

“He mentioned a guy he played in district cricket where the wicket keeper would stand 23 paces behind the stumps,” he said.

“Someone asked how quick Peter Homden was in comparison and his reply was the ball would have bounced four times before it got to the keeper.

“Homden is in our hall of fame and was renowned for being pretty quick.”

Plans had originally been in place for the reunion to happen in 2017 but low numbers meant it had to be called off.

Turner credited the clubs for getting behind the reunion concept to ensure it went ahead on Saturday.

“A special mention needs to be made to recognise the work put in by Gary Cunningham to get this off the ground,” he said.

“The rest of us helped get it up and running this year but it was the efforts of Gary last year that set everything in motion.

“Once everyone else came on board to tell him we wanted to do it his enthusiasm returned very quickly and we got the ball rolling again.”