Almanac Life: Ashton Agar [may] meet Ivar the Boneless





For my retirement sins – and with more than a little enjoyment – I write editorials for the Surfcoast Times and feature articles for the Lorne Independent ‘down here on the coast’.

One who seems to enjoy reading my ramblings is none other than a long-time kindred, ex-Geelong great – and for a brief period of turn-coat-ism, Richmond, where he just happened to snag a premiership appearance – Gareth Andrews. Gareth persuaded … nay bulldozed … me in the direction of the Almanackers.

“It’s right up your alley, Johnny,” blithely saith he as he slapped off my name to none other than Almanacker-in-chief, JTH.

Wham! – an immediate response came back from JTH – which included the oft-asked and inevitable question: “are you related to …?”

In brief – believe me, the longer version is a very long story – by 2013, I had started an e-family history [desultorily populated with some 44 ancestors]. Suddenly, the first test of that ill-fated 2013 series unearthed a supernova innings of 98 for the last wicket that plastered the family name across the international tableau.

As ‘his’ dad also goes by ‘John’, it took but a millisecond for 774, The Age, and a raft of other news-hungry media hounds to come a-knocking!

“No” … I repeatedly had to say when asked if I was Ashton’s father [with a tinge of envy, I might add] …”I am not he”.

But … and here’s the thing! … my grandfathers’ eldest brother was Edward Ashton Agar [you may insert here as many exclamation marks as you see fit].

Even more, as press photos and TV interviews of proud Ashton-father John [more envy] appeared, they showed a man who could seriously be my physical twin! … though I have since somewhat ‘paunched-up’ in this wine and chocolate bullet era of pandemic isolation.

There just had to be a connection!

“What chance is there,” asked I of myself, “of two relatively uncommon names being thus linked – and all in the space of three generations?”

And so began ‘the search’ …

Loathe to impose on the privacy of the prodigy’s family, I sought to prove the link by a meticulous investigation of our ‘shared’ ancestry.

My e-tree now includes luminaries like Ivar the Boneless [as a Vikings-devotee … YES … none other!] … Somerled, Lord of the Isles [my ‘I-would-happily-die-for-him’ ancestor] … a smattering of Scottish and English kings … a few peers of the realm … a cause célèbre, rabidly homosexual MP from the UK … and a slew of the famous, infamous and inconsequential [the latter, dominant] … all as direct ancestors.

But, despite the search having spawned …


• an e-total of exactly 3090 names [many now with extensive historical notes researched and addended]


Plus …

• a slightly rumpy-pumpy historical ‘massacre’ novella sited in the 1647 Scottish Highlands and starring my ten-generations grandfather … note, here, that after my initial dreams of the Miles Franklin or even the Man Booker, I was demoted to a [perhaps] Mills and Boon status by ‘those in the know’
… nary yet a link to Ashton!

Here comes the obvious question: should I now contact ‘the family?’

… but as I have sought ‘the link’ in such a clandestine, almost underhand way over two-thirds of a decade and still have drawn a blank, I now feel almost too embarrassed to go back to where I should have started! The one potential saving grace? … if we are related, Ashton could then claim a paternal lineage to Ivar the Boneless.

So, JTH … ‘no … no relation’ [as yet] … but ever the search goes on!

Now that was but a potted version of a biblical length search. Don’t ask for more – I suspect you would regret it.



Read more of Ivar the Boneless HERE



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  1. John Butler says

    Welcome John.

    This was a very entertaining meander.


  2. Luke Reynolds says

    Loved this, very funny! Welcome to the Almanac John.

    Ashton’s little brother Wes perhaps shaping up as an even better, yet very different player.

  3. Loved the You Tube re Ragnar

  4. Superb John v v well played I suspect this article may find its way in to the Agar family’s hands

  5. Ray Wilson says

    Piss poor effort, Agar.

    Since joining Twitter in 2012 I have originated exactly 9 tweets. I just counted them, didn’t take long. This one is from the evening of July 13, 2013, as Ashton was nearing the nineties.

    “Agar is the son of a woman who is the sister of the wife of a bloke who was on a board before I was. It’s terrific to be so close to him”

    That’s how it’s done, John. Stay safe at Lorne, mate. Cheers Ray

  6. Ah … at last a low-impact twit!
    9 twits in 8+ years? … at least you are [thankfully] in a different league to Trump.
    I know what the problem is … your spleen has never quite recoverd from the re-signing of Ryan Schoenmakers!
    Stay well, good friend.
    It has been good to hear from you.

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