Norm Tasker Tribute to Dick Guy
Men of GordonThe passing of Dick Guy is devastating news, both for its sudden and unexpected nature and for the loss of a very good man. Dick was such a commanding presence through the years that he somehow seemed indestructible. I first ran into him I think about 1959 or 1960, when I was kid just starting out at the Telegraph and Dick came into the office as a young police constable in uniform, with a blond crew cut straight out of Happy Days.
I think he was there to talk to Phil Tresidder, the cricket writer of the time, as a young leg-spinner of some potential. When I started out grade cricket commanded a lot of space in the papers, and I used to get to as many Gordon games as I could get away with for the company of the people, for the proximity to the club over the road, and for the parties that inevitably followed. Dick was at the centre of all that, a wonderful leader and motivator who drew people around him and was a mentor of real value to so many.
By the time he became a selector I was the cricket writer at The Sun, and Dick needless to say was one of my better contacts. One of the more famous occasions on which we discussed a selection was the time Peter Taylor was selected out of the blue for a Sydney Cricket Ground Test. I had the temerity to actually inquire of Dick whether the selectors had got the names mixed up and meant to pick a then young and emerging Mark Taylor. Dick gave me a significant mouthful, but the conversation led to a famous front page headline that day . . . “Peter Who?”, a moniker from which I am not sure poor Peter ever escaped. Taylor of course was a revelation in that Test with his off-breaks delivered from a great height, so I never questioned Dick’s judgment again.
Like so many of his contemporaries, I am sad that Dick is no longer with us, but I reckon we were all lucky to have known him, and to have lived through the glory days to which he contributed so much.