Honouring the greats of cricket

CRICKET Albury-Wodonga royalty came together for the association’s night of nights at Albury’s Commercial Club last night.

Bill Clark, Norm Wighton, Joe Wooding, Arthur Allen, Ray Rolfe, Margaret Lade, Jeff Butters, David Coulston, Gary Essex and Lawrence Hodgkin were inducted into the Hall of Fame in front of a 280-strong crowd.

Gerard Kenna was elevated to legend status.

CAW chairman Michael Erdeljac said the second installation of inductees was equally as impressive as the first in 2012.

“It’s another incredible list,” Erdeljac said.

“People like Joe Wooding, Arthur Allen and Lawrence Hodgkin have been enormous for the sport and it’s fantastic to honour another 11 here tonight.”

Clark was an outstanding 

opening batsman and wicketkeeper who played in six premierships for Murray South and Newmarket 

between 1946-47 and 1958-59.

He made 11 centuries, 

including a highest score of 116 against Bandiana, and represented the ABCA at Country Week 10 times, with four as captain.

After retiring in 1959, Clark turned to umpiring and officiated in 22 first grade grand finals in 26 years.

He was also curator at the Albury Sportsground for 15 years.

Wighton just about did it all.

The all-rounder played first grade with East Albury from 1948-49 to 1955-56 and was a member of the Crows’ 1954-55 premiership when the flag was awarded to them after losing the semi-final to Murray South, who were later disqualified.

Wighton was a founding member of the reformed St Patrick’s Cricket Club in 1956-57, and played in first grade premierships in 1968-69, 1970-71 and 1971-72.

He was director of coaching for the Murray Cricket Council for many years and received the Australian Sports Medal in 2000 for his service to cricket.

Joe Wooding

Joe Wooding

Wooding moved from Melbourne to Albury in 1949 and played for 29 years in the ABCA as a genuine all-rounder.

He spent seven seasons with Newmarket, one season with Jindera and 21 seasons with East Albury, with 10 years as captain.

Wooding represented the ABCA as a player at Country Week from 1976 to 1982, and then as manager from 1984 to 1993.

He later umpired to 2005, has been made a life member of East 

Albury, ABCA, Cricket Albury-Wodonga, Murray Border Cricket Umpires and the Murray Cricket Council.

Wooding also wrote a book, 150 Not Out on cricket in Albury-Wodonga

Arthur Allen

Arthur Allen

Arthur Allen

Arthur Allen

Allen played in 10 grand finals for East Albury, winning six of them.

The all-rounder’s best performance came in the 1957-58 season when he made 555 runs and took 42 wickets.

Allen’s feats off the ground were even more impressive.

He served three decades as president of East Albury as well as being curator at Alexandra Park for almost 20 years.

He was also a long-time coach and committee member at the club and is a Cricket Albury-Wodonga life member.

Rolfe played senior cricket from 1964-84 in the Wodonga and District Cricket Association as a solid opening batsman and leg-spinner.

He captained Kiewa’s first grade flag in 1979-80 before turning to coaching and administrative roles.

Rolfe coached several junior teams to glory, served as club president and was a Cricket Australia level three high performance coach.

He won an Australian Sports Medal in 2000.

Under Rolfe’s guidance the 

Wodonga association blossomed from a six to 10-team competition following the inclusion of Uncle 

Bens, Paragon, Eskdale and Tallangatta.

Margaret Lade

Margaret Lade

Lade started scoring in 1989 when her children started playing in the Albury and Border Junior Cricket 

Association and is presently in charge of the pencil for the North Albury first grade team.

It is estimated she has spent 3000 hours in the position, which doesn’t include the time spent travelling to venues such as Melbourne, Sydney, Canberra and Griffith.

Lade has been the official scorer for the ACT at the Australian Country Championships and Cricket Australia Masters games.

Coulston started his career as an 11-year-old during the 1969-70 season for the Kiewa Cricket Club, as there were no other grades available for him to play in. 

He has been an integral part of cricket in the area for the past 44 years and is still coaching Kiewa.

Coulston moved to Lavington for the 1980-81 season and played for that club until 1995-96.

During that time he took a record 522 first grade wickets and won the Albury and Border Cricket Association’s bowling award 10 times.

He won the ABCA’s Cricketer of the Year twice and was a member of a winning provincial grade team at Melbourne Country Week.

Butters played 360 matches for Belvoir and claimed about 730 wickets.

He took out the Wodonga association’s bowling award twice and boasted best figures of 8-32 against Wodonga Raiders.

Along the way, Jeff coached juniors for more than 10 years and served on Belvoir’s committee for more than 30 years.

Gary Essex

Gary Essex

 Gary Essex

Gary Essex

Gary Essex

Gary Essex

Essex started his first grade career with a bang for East Albury in 1985-86 by hammering 112 not out on debut.

The wicketkeeper-batsman played in three flags for the Crows and represented the Albury and Border association at Melbourne Country Week, O’Farrell Cup and Tooheys Cup matches.

As a wicketkeeper, Essex took five or more catches in ABCA representative matches on five occasions — which is still a record.

Essex was an ABCA selector for over 15 years and has held almost every official position at East Albury.

Hodgkin started his cricketing career in the 1984-85 season with Eskdale and stormed through the cricketing ranks.

He spent time with Eskdale, Wodonga, SS and A, St Patrick’s and Tallangatta and is the only ABCA player to take a double hat-trick.

Hodgkin retired in 2007 with more than 30 centuries and 550 wickets. 

He won the Wodonga and District Cricketer of the Year on 10 occasions and the Albury and Border Cricket Association Cricketer of the Year three times.

Hodgkin also represented Victoria Country.

The Albury dentist played for Murray, Albury, St Patrick’s, Diggers, Devonia and Waratah during a stellar 26-year career from 1912 to 1937.

He was a right arm leg-spin bowler who preached line and length and obviously followed his own advice.

He took more than 100 wickets in his first season and grabbed eight wickets in an innings on eight occasions. He also served as association vice-president for two seasons.