A snapshot of 8 club legends spanning the generations
Robin Cole didn’t grace the bowling crease at the Richmond Cricket Club until the age of 25 after success as a New Zealand U/20s player. It was no surprise that he kept upcoming NZ Test opening bowler Dick Motz from national representation at this level. In one district match when playing for Canterbury Rob collected 7 for 35 (all bowled). Rob then became a one-club man for Richmond and in the next 23 years, secured a club record 1014 wickets at the amazing average of over 40 wickets a season. He became the first Adelaide Turf cricketer to take 1000 wickets.
Rob was part of one of the most feared bowling attacks in the history of ATCA cricket. In a stellar 1965/66 season Rob collected the association bowling trophy with a mammoth 71 wickets, only beating his opening partner Jeff Niemann by two wickets. At one stage during this season, in a two-game period, Rob took the dominating figures of 26 wickets for 116 runs, including a hat trick, to forge outright wins.
Highly competitive and off a shortish run-up, his strong ‘all-shoulders’ action with a cocked wrist was penetrating and unnervingly accurate. Included in his bowling armoury were a lethal off-cutter and a deceptive change up ball, with a high proportion of his victims having their castles dismantled. Rob loved to bowl and was never known, no matter what the circumstances, to say he was tired. He was also capable of getting quick runs by driving the ball over the bowler’s head and over the fence. He was also a wonderful team player and a competent fielder who regularly represented the Adelaide Turf Cricket Association against Victoria. Rob could have been highly successful in District Cricket but preferred to head Richmond’s outstanding bowling attack that in the 1960s included Ron Lee, Bob Roxby, “Red” Emmel and the Niemann brothers. While the team didn’t have the batting line-up to complement such a great bowling attack it did not stop the club from obtaining back-to-back A1 premierships in the 1967/68 and 1968/69 seasons.
As a Richmond Cricket Club honorary life member, Rob always helped behind the scenes, then enjoyed an extensive period on the Management Committee of the ATCA. He remains an ornament to the Richmond Cricket Club and the game itself. Rob’s competitive instinct is explained in a story about one of his heroes, Sir Edmond Hillary. When nearing the south pole, instead of stopping at the designated position, Hillary sent a message back to NZ that they were going to attempt to reach the pole before the British party attempted the same feat.
Rob retired at 48 and attributes his longevity and interest in the current Club to the fact Richmond was a great family club. Since retirement, Rob and wife Helena have travelled across Australia as members of the Ulysses Motorcycle Club. Meanwhile the name R.K.Cole adorns the Goodwood Cricket Club A Grade annual bowling trophy.
Jeffrey Donald Emmel, universally known and respected through Adelaide Turf Cricket as ‘Red’, played for Richmond (1961-1992) after his father took him along to the Richmond Oval as a seventeen year-old. He then continued with Richmond Clarence Park (Goodwood) from 1993-2016. His many years in turf cricket were only punctured by a season with Student Teachers in District Cricket in the mid-sixties. The late Neil Hawke losing his middle stump signified his first A grade dismissal.
Forty year Playing Life membership of the ATCA and Honorary Life membership of the Richmond Cricket Club are amongst at least 5 premierships and many other accolades he has received. The ATCA Spirit of Cricket Award is named after him, something he sees as an honour and privilege. As President for twelve years until 2017, Red contributed to the development of the Goodwood Club philosophy and culture, success he attributes to the contribution of many committed members. He has assisted in the ATCA player behaviour tribunals and has been ATCA Vice President between 2011-20.
Red has taken more than 900 club wickets and made almost 8000 runs for Richmond and Goodwood. Once retired from the As, he captained the Clubs B, C and D Grade teams before moving into the Limited overs competition for the last 15 years of his ATCA cricket, encouraging older players to follow his example. Lean, fit and spritely, his health and sense of humour have led to his longevity in the game. The Club established the ‘Emmel Club’ for players with more than 15 years senior involvement. Many of these players have enjoyed playing in the same side as ‘Red’ and “talking cricket”. Meanwhile he had already become involved in Veterans Cricket including captaining the South Australian Over 60s and Over 70s team where he has continued to take wickets and make runs, although he has never put much importance on his personal stats. Red was also an inaugural member of the ATCA Masters team.
Red could certainly be classed as “alternative”. With a mop of curly once-auburn hair, and a distinctive gait, he had claims as the original “Doctor Who”. He didn’t shy away from injustice or controversy. He was Secretary of Richmond for years and took on the ATCA when Richmond were relegated unjustly in 1985 on the technicality of not having a ground available for the next season by April 30. The ATCA Executive, in an outrageous decision, gave no leeway and allowed last placed Payneham to stay in A1. An injunction to stop the ATCA season going ahead was withdrawn by Red on the basis that every other club would suffer. Richmond bounced back into A1 the next year.
Red was an outstanding Amateur League footballer with the Riverside FC (now Portland FC) in the tough western suburbs. Life membership was also bestowed upon him there. He was a state Amateur player between 1969 and 1973 (without loss to the Big V), retired from senior football at forty-one then joined the Superules (Masters) version of the game at fifty and played until 68. All-Australian selection in Over 45s was achieved in 1998 and 1999.
Scholarly and with a sense of fairness, Jeff’s work life has been in education. From Adelaide High, he studied Health and Physical Education and gained a Degree in International Politics and History. He is a teacher, philosopher and leader but is most happy and content when having a cleansing ale with team-mates, opponents or umpires at the end of a day’s play.
Being the captain of the Clarence Park first A1 Grade ATCA flag in 1965/66 was the culmination of a many brilliant seasons for Robert “Bob” Selth. Bob scored a club record 686 runs that year which included a century in the grand final as well as another 100 and a 99 during the minor round. In the process, Bob easily won the ATCA batting trophy. To top this off, he was rated by many as the best cover fieldsman the club ever produced.
After a brilliant schoolboy career, where he played for the state in both cricket and football, Bob had a near fatal accident while in the navy that rendered his right hand almost incapacitated. At that time, he was informed that he would never play sport again. Encouraged by school friend Ron Hewitt (who was best-man at his wedding) he returned to the crease for Clarence Park, mastering the art of batting with a strong top-hand grip and applying exquisite timing and placement of the ball. With his resulting batting aggregate of more than 6000 runs, he still sits high on the amalgamated list of batsmen for Richmond and Clarence Park. Before joining the navy, he had some A Grade district cricket experience as a seventeen-year-old at Sturt Cricket Club. Bob’s father Vic had been a long serving player with Sturt and also recorded two Sheffield Shield games for South Australia before being struck by a cricket bat while keeping. This stopped him competing at this level and for a while there was some concern about his health after his accident.
After returning from his navy accident, Bob spent two seasons with the Sturt Football Club as a nippy wingman playing alongside the club’s great Gil Langley. In Jack Oatey’s first year at Unley Bob also spent a season as coach of the Sturt Senior Colts. Because of his slight build, Bob turned his hand to umpiring football and spent approximately 30 years blowing the whistle in the SANFL in the Ken Aplin era as well as in suburban and country league matches.
Bob took on other roles for Clarence Park. For more than ten years he was curator, groundsman and jack-of-all-trades for the second oval at the “home of cricket”, Sir Lewis Cohen Avenue. In the mid 1970s, Bob and his wife Betty moved to Hallett Cove where he continued with a local club in a hard wicket association, playing and scoring runs well into his 60s.
Bob retired after 40 years as an area manager for William Adams Pty Ltd. in the steel industry. His strength of will helped him fight through illness as it did when he returned to cricket after his navy accident. His fervour for life, his love of sport and his ability to overcome his personal physical impairment and achieve outstanding sporting results should inspire even the most cynical of human beings to achieve their best.
Brian “Buster” Niemann gave of his time both on and off the field in a remarkable, longstanding career in which he played in an A-Grade Premiership, held office as Secretary and President, and assisted in club fundraising. During that time, he still managed to participate in and contribute to Adelaide Turf Cricket as an umpire and as the ATCA Umpires Association Secretary/Treasurer.
Brian was awarded honorary life membership of the Goodwood Cricket Club as well as 25 year playing life membership of ATCA. His 22 seasons as a fast medium bowler for Richmond saw him capture 556 wickets, including 7 hat tricks and almost 2000 runs even though he batted number at 10 or 11. Brian played in 3 premierships, captained the B & C grade teams and then put his efforts into managing the Under 16 sides, observing with pride, as some of these youngsters grew into senior cricketers.
After the amalgamation of the Richmond and Clarence Park Cricket Clubs, a concept he wholeheartedly supported, Brian continued to maintain his quality contribution to the new club as Practice Captain and for years with his wife Prue, coordinated the Club’s major fundraising activity, the delivery of telephone books.
Gregg Stagg has been an outstanding contributor to Adelaide Turf Cricket and to the Goodwood Cricket Club since he came from the Sturt Cricket Club in 1985. In more than 25 seasons at Clarence Park and then the Richmond Clarence Park and Goodwood Cricket Clubs, he made his mark as a higher – order batsmen chalking up the almost incomparable 10,000 run milestone on the way. This achievement stands amongst the highest ever in Adelaide Turf Cricket.
Features of his cricket career include numerous Batting Awards, Premier Grade Premierships, and many centuries. His ability and contribution as a bowler is acknowledged by the winning of the Clarence Park Bowling Trophy in his first season in 1985. ‘Staggy’ established a number of record batting partnerships with friends he has made in the game, but most importantly, he has continued playing for long enough to see them over-run by others. It is fitting that the Club’s A grade Batting Trophy is named after him.
Greg played a defining role in the first premierships of the two proud, amalgamated clubs. He has demonstrated great pride and humility in serving the club both on and off the field as an exemplary role model and mentor to young cricketers. Greg has been honoured with 15-year Player Life Membership with the Adelaide Turf Cricket Association and is a proud member of the Goodwood Roos ‘Emmel Club’ that recognises more than 15 senior playing seasons. His high level of skill and commitment was rewarded several times through selection in the Adelaide Turf State team.
By following the footsteps of teammates and Legends, Rob Colwell and Red Emmel, Greg extended his committment to longevity in the game through the SA Veterans Cricket Association State team as a prolific performer. He stands as a fine role model for younger (and not so younger) players who aspire to improve and extend their involvement in the game.
Tim Sargent has been an outstanding contributor to the Club for more than 25 seasons. During that time he has achieved a high level of excellence and contributed to many club milestones. Tim began with Clarence Park in the 1991-1992 season and won the A Grade bowling trophy in his first year with 30 wickets. Following a season of District Cricket at Adelaide he returned when Richmond and Clarence Park merged in season 1993-1994 and became a crucial part of the A Grade premiership.
With his rhythmic and economical left arm action he could generate great pace and movement and went on to take more than 750 wickets to put him fourth on the all-time list behind Rob Cole, Red Emmel and ‘Tich’ Greenham. Tim’s best bowling figures are 9/13 and in 2017/18 he took a career best 45 wickets in the season. ‘Sarge’ has maintained an amazing career economy rate of 2.7 and a bowling average of 17.
Committed to personal fitness, training and preparation, it is not surprising that almost 20 of his seasons were in the club’s A Grade. He has played close to 400 games including finals and Brock Partners. Perhaps his most noteworthy statistic is the fact he holds the club record of playing in 11 Premierships: A remarkable achievement when you consider some play 15 years and never achieve one.
A1 – in 1994/1995 and 2003/2004
A2 – in 1991/1992 (Clarence Park) and 2007/2008
A3 – in 2014/2015
A4 – in 2013/2014
B2 – in 2016/2017
LO2 – in 2017/2018
Brock Partners 50 Over Competition in 1995/1996, 1997/1998 and 2000/2001
Over his career, Tim has been awarded ATCA 25 Year Playing Life Membership, represented ATCA in Masters and was the Vice President of ATCA for 3 years. He is a member of the ‘Emmel Club’ recognising longevity in the game. In 2018 he was the only SA representative in the successful Australian Over 50s team at the 2018 World Cup. Becoming a Legend of the Goodwood Cricket Club is a rare achievement. He has earned this recognition through his outstanding performance, his commitment to the Club over a long period of time and the example he has set to other players.