For those of us aspiring sportsmen who don’t have Olympic Athlete physiques or Silver Spoons in our mouths, David Boon is a hero. ‘Boonie’ showed what steely determination and hard work can realize – the mantle as one of Australia’s finest top-order batsmen and close fielders.
Boonie played for Tasmania when it was a fledgling cricket state and to get a Green Baggy cap, first you needed a sky-blue one! His portly figure (and legends about beer-drinking records) belied his fitness and strength. Boon was to become Australia’s top batsman in the early 90’s with brilliant centuries against the West Indies, India, and successive hundreds against England at Lords, Trent Bridge and Headingly. He was to make 21 Test tons, none better than his 184 not out in the second innings of the Bicentennial Test at Sydney to extricate Australia from a potentially match-losing position. He received the player of the match award for that knock and was voted International Cricketer of the Year.
After his playing days finished, David became an Australian Selector and lately an IOC Match Referee.
Boonie never had tickets on himself. His affable nature and humility are always on display. And he’ll set the record straight on those beers!
One of the true characters of modern day sport, Swervin’ Mervyn’ made his first class debut for Victoria against South Australia in ‘81/’82. It wasn’t until ‘85/’86 that he was picked in the Australian side.
His first match was against Pakistan but only taking the one wicket he wasn’t selected again until the Ashes series the following year. From then on his career as an Australian fast bowler went from strength to strength.
Not only was he a regular wicket taker but his look and personality helped him to become a crowd favourite the world over. At 6’4” and with a huge handlebar moustache he was hard to miss.
Merv had a seemingly endless loping run up to the stumps and if he took a wicket most teammates ran for cover. For such a big man he was considered overly affectionate by his fellow players. The odd tongue slipped into an ear was not unheard of.
At his home ground, the MCG, he was especially revered. His warm up routine in front of Bay 13 with the crowd joining in turned him into a cult figure.
A naturally gifted entertainer, Slammin’ Sam Kekovich brings a wonderfully satirical, irreverent and hard-hitting brand of humour to any occasion. His lively presentations draw on all his experiences and the characters he has encountered over the last 30 plus years of his involvement in football and life. He delivers guaranteed laughs and edge-of-your-seat stories.
All the bluff and bluster sometimes hides the fact that Sam was a damn good footballer. He started his senior career with the Kangaroos in 1968 and the following year was the top goalkicker with 56 goals and won the club’s best and fairest award. Sam played a key role in the club’s first premiership win in 1975 as second ruckman, contesting boundary throw-ins, in which he won most of the hit outs against Hawthorn’s top player, Don Scott.
After playing 124 VFL games for the Kangaroos and having the occasional run-in with his coaches and the tribunal, Sam retired from top competition in 1978.
Sam’s a natural entertainer and story-teller. Let alone the Lambassador we have loved the past 10 years!
Tommy is to League what Bart Cummings is to racing or Ron Barassi is to AFL: The Godfather
Tough, tenacious ‘Tom Terrific’ never took a backward step on the football field.
He terrorised his opponents with his resolute competitiveness. With never a thought for his own welfare, he would take on the biggest forward and chase down the quickest half-back. And he always liked to leave them with a little something to remember him by!
Testimony to his toughness was the celebrated occasion in 1977 when he was relegated to the reserve bench in an interstate match in favour of a young Steve Mortimer. NSW was losing when Raudonikis took to the field late in the second half and he soon instigated a fight with his opposite number Greg Oliphant (who was being treated for an injury on the sideline!) An inspired NSW went on to a narrow 14-13 win after a great try. But it wasn’t all toughness – Tommy was silky-skilled and quick off the mark and had a deadly short-kicking game. According to one commentator, Tommy was “the little bloke who’d rather score a try in a rugby match than have a feed, I feel!”
Raudonikis coached the Blues in 1997 and 1998. In those series he entered Origin folklore when he introduced the Cattledog call. The NSW players responded by breaking from the scrum, fists flying, resulting in two infamous all-in-brawls.
After a playing and coaching career when ‘never say die’ was taken to the extreme, Tommy is now just happy to pop up during Origin season, waiting for his Blues to restore some of their recent lost pride.
Maybe he should make another comeback!
Marto is a rahrah and an all-round entertainer. 9 Wallaby caps and 65 for the QLD Reds mean heknows his stuff, when it comes to rugby.
The fact he is a regular Fox Sports commentator, a member of the popular Triple Ms ‘The Cage’ breakfast show, and challenges the need for the All Blacks to have a Haka, means he’s also a bloody good bloke!
Look out for Marto as the dark horse in the best verbal stoush since Cain vs. Abel!
Robbie has never been lost for a word, and that’s what we love about him. Always nice to have someone on TV tell us their opinion and what they really think.
No one questions his footballing ability; he played for the Blackburn Rovers in the English Premier League and our beloved Socceroos.
Representing the worlds game in this debate is something we look forward to seeing Robbie do, and he won’t back down when Tommy and Keka go on the offensive!
Sports TV. Easy Campese and you can’t afford to miss out!