Following the sad news earlier this week of the passing of popular former Australian all-rounder Gary Gilmour, there’s been an outpouring of tributes and fond recollections of the Novocastrian.
Here’s some of our favourites:
Kerry O’Keeffe on Gilmour’s only Test century, against New Zealand in ¬Christchurch:
“He didn’t believe in dot balls. (Richard) Hadlee was bowling on a green top and I was next in and every time he lifted the bat I jumped up and grabbed mine because he was going after him but the ball would bounce off the fence and I would sit down again.
''He didn't pick up the bat to block. You can't block with an axe.'
“He didn’t have an enemy in the game. He was never involved in anything untoward. I never saw him in a spat or heard him sledging.”
“He was a great teammate because he always saw the bright side of things and even when you didn’t feel like laughing you had to because he was that funny. He was a very good man.”
“He was at the front of the queue when they handed out talent and hiding behind the door when luck was being handed out.
"We picked him for the Test match at Headingley in 1975 because he'd got his 6 for 14 there in the World Cup, and we dropped Alan Turner who fielded at bat-pad. We walked out to bowl first and I thought who's going to field there ... and thought Gus can, he can field anywhere. So I told him 'Gus you're taking Fitteran (Turner's) place so you can field in his spot'.
"Alan had this very recognisable run, really kicked his heels up and almost hit himself in the bum with his run. So Gus turns to chase about the third ball of the Test match and he starts running like Fitteran! So I've told him 'you're taking his place' so he starts running like him! It was only his fourth Test and here he was taking the piss in the first over."
Dennis Lillee once told a benefit night that Gilmour remained in high spirits.
"When I've called him over the last 12 months or so, he's never once complained. He's always got a joke. Just the other day he told me Dougie Walters had phoned. I thought 'That's good' and he said 'Yeah, he offered me his liver. I said 'No thanks, I'll take my chances'."
"As a cricketer he was the most talented player of my time, a guy who had extraordinary talents in every facet of cricket.
"When he was on he was unplayable. He bowled a swinging ball, he could hit the ball a mile, throw it like a bullet and he was a fantastic catcher either close to the wicket or in the outfield - a supreme cricketer. He was a very popular person, Gus, a bit of a larrikin and very much liked by everyone. He didn't take life all that seriously, played for the enjoyment of it."
"Just a man who loved life and lived it to the full.
"Extraordinary talent as a cricketer. I never saw him play football but apparently he was very gifted at that as well.
One of McCosker's favourite memories was a Shield innings by the brash left-hander in front of a few hundred people.
"We were playing Victoria at the SCG and the game was dead and buried. Gus felt sorry for the people there. When he and I came out after tea he said 'It has been a boring day for the fans and I think we should do something about that'.
"I stood down the other end and proceeded to watch him score 100 in a session.
"Those sorts of things very few people have the ability to do. That was Gus all over.”
Gary Gilmour himself recalling a moment in early World Series Cricket days:
"It was a freezing night at VFL Park in Melbourne and they had just introduced the stump microphone. Rainy, miserable night it was. Ray Bright was our 12th man and I spent several overs trying to get his attention. In the end I yelled into the stump mic, 'Hey Brighty, where's me f---ing jumper?' I thought they'd cut it out, but apparently it went to air.”
Michael Clarke (via twitter):
“Very sad news about the passing of Gary Gilmour. All the sympathies of the Australian cricket team to his wife and family.”
Darren Lehmann (via twitter):
“Condolences to Gary Gilmour and his family our thoughts are with him and his family from all at CA at this time #267 baggygreen.”
Paul Marsh (via twitter):
“Terribly sad news about Gary Gilmour's passing. One of the most loved players in Australian cricket. RIP.”
Gary’s health began deteriorating in the early 2000s, and he was eventually put on the organ donor list for a new liver.
Just before Christmas in 2005, Gary received a new liver and a reinvigorated approach. He became a staunch supporter of organ donation awareness*.
He also continued to support Newcastle cricket in various roles and particularly his sons, who all played. Youngest son Sam took six wickets in the first grade final for Merewether to win man-of-the-match honours. This was a moment of joy following the tragic passing of his brother Clint to brain cancer just days earlier.
Unfortunately in recent years, Gary’s health again deteriorated and complications had escalated after a recent fall. He died in the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital on Tuesday.
He is survived by his wife Helen, daughter Brooke Drelincourt and sons Ben and Sam.
*Zaidee’s Rainbow Foundation is an Official Charity Partner of the Australian Cricketers’ Association and raises awareness of organ and tissue donation. Last season players in the BBL and Australian ODI teams used Rainbow-coloured bat grips to support Zaidee’s. For more information click here .
Information and quotes for this article were sourced from a variety of media outlets including the Newcastle Herald, ESPNcrininfo.com , Fox Sports, The Australian, Fairfax newspapers and twitter.