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Graham Mackie Tribute to Dick Guy

It would be remiss of me not to say a few words about Dick.

The year was 1968 when I wandered down to Chatswood Oval for my first Grade Cricket Practice as a raw-boned, long haired Art student. The first person to welcome me was Catts then Charlie Harris & thirdly Dick Guy who looked more like a rugby prop than a leg spinner.

Graham Mackie

After battling through the grades & not being allowed to bowl in the First grade net (except before the final against Wests with Gilmour playing) I was finally called up to play when Pooley was injured. 

The phone rang at 7.30am. Dad answered & woke me to tell me there was a Mr Guy on the phone & you were playing 1st grade at Chatswood - I had got home at 5.30am, 2 hours beforehand.

After a few more hours sleep & 2 more cold showers i arrived at the ground a little dusty - Dick won the toss & thankfully batted  - after another cold shower we were no wickets down for 260 with Wizard 180 & Catts 80 - my headache had now gone from head to my hands from clapping the batting onslaught.

The next game was against Manly in a Rothmans KO - our batting collapsed that day & Dick told us in the change rooms to watch Tom Spencer’s fast ball. I was last man in after Dick was bowled by Spencer.  As I passed him I said, "Did you pick the straight ball, Dick?”

Falky & I managed to score a few more runs after Dick’s departure & I was lucky enough to hit a few out of the ground from Terry Lee’s no spin - I played & missed one & dropped my bat on the pitch - a booming voice came out of the stand from Dick - “Pick it up!” 

After that game he did something very unusual - he asked everyone to select the First X1 for the next round of grade - Dick told me after that I was selected by 9 out of the 11 but unfortunately I was dropped to Seconds - so much for innovation. 

In 1973 I was at Sydney Teachers College under the watchful eye of Brian Booth, the Head of PE - I was sitting in the front row listening to Brian give a lecture on cricket when he split the class into two & said this half come with me & the other half go with Graham - he had not told me a thing but this was obviously orchestrated by Tabsy & Dick.

So there began my illustrious & productive coaching career which was kick started by those three & which lasted nearly 50 years.

In 1974 I moved to Dubbo to start my teaching career & Dick told that it wasn’t just bush cricket out there & I will be surprised by the standard of players.

He was spot on with State players such as Peter Leslie, Dave Martin, Col Blackman together with State Country players Ian Drake, Lloyd Keir, Tony Corcoran & Keith Sparkes, so the standard was extremely high, as were the wickets.

In 1975 I was due to play in a Country Representative game at Wellington where Dick was the Chairman of Selectors - I had to pull out as I tore ankle ligaments playing volleyball but still went along to see Dick - he told me I wouldn’t have made the side because I was too old - I was 25. 

Tea time at Chatswood

After playing cricket in England in 1981 I came back to Gordon & was elected Secretary - Dick & I were the delegates to NSW Cricket - I turned up looking smart with my new Gordon dress jumper - Dick immediately jumped down my throat & said, “Where is your TIE?” followed by, " Just remember you are not representing yourself but YOUR Club!”

Another lesson learnt.

Who could ever forget the Nibbo lunches at the Royal Auto Club & his parties on the FFF - also the Roman nights & the trips to Balgownie, Mereweather, Palm Beach QLD & the RAAF base at Richmond - Dick excelled in all of those.

Just recently I sat next him for over an hour at Chatswood - I wore a brightly coloured Hawaiian shirt - he remarked, “Nice shirt”. I said, “I wore it for your benefit.”  He laughed.

In that time we discussed a lot of things from over the years but he then turned to me & said, “You should write a book about your great life in Cricket as you have achieved so much in your career.” I was a bit taken back by that as I thought it should be him doing the writing about his illustrious career- that was the last time I spoke to him.

Dick was like Cricket’s Headmaster - he always had that cheeky grin like he was 10 minutes in front of everyone else.

Thanks Dick, for putting me in to the right place for the right time in the future.

Thanks also for the great memories - now can I bowl in the First Grade net ??



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