Balcony Banter: Fifty years on






John Harms recently wrote this piece about the start to the season for  MCC’s ‘Balcony Banter’.


Read the piece HERE.


[If anyone can find that photo of Keith Stackpole’s run out please let us know. [Swish?}


Please add your memories of 1970-71 in the comments below.



About John Harms

JTH is a writer, publisher, speaker, historian. He is publisher and contributing editor of The Footy Almanac and He has written columns and features for numerous publications. His books include Confessions of a Thirteenth Man, Memoirs of a Mug Punter, Loose Men Everywhere, Play On, The Pearl: Steve Renouf's Story and Life As I Know It (with Michelle Payne). He appears (appeared?) on ABCTV's Offsiders. He can be contacted [email protected] He is married to The Handicapper and has three school-age kids - Theo, Anna, Evie. He might not be the worst putter in the world but he's in the worst four. His ambition was to lunch for Australia but it clashed with his other ambition - to shoot his age.


  1. John my early memories of cricket go back to 1970-71, though yours seem a tad clearer.

    Names like Eastwood, Gleeson, Shuttleworth, with of course Boycott, Snow, Redpath, Stackpole first entered my cognition. Speaking of Stackpole, that run out @ the Gabba i’m pretty sure is featured in a book of the tour. I have/had the book somewhere but dashed if i can find it amongst the clutter. Was the author Phil Tresider?

    The watched out third test rings a slightly different bell. It rained steadily for a few days, and my parents planned on driving to the recently opened Sovereign Hill. The car wouldn’t start so we never got there.

    Yes the Ashes summer of 1970-71. In this day of T20, fireworks, blaring music, how many people can recall the first ever ODI was played that summer? Cricketing whites, 40, 8 ball overs. It was a different time.


  2. This is my first memory of Test Cricket also. I remember a lift out from The Age where you could fill in the scores and my path towards statistics began. I remember my dad talking in hushed tones about W M Lawry’s sacking.

  3. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    My first test was the Adelaide Test of that 70/71 series. Day 3. Watched it from the Torrens End mound, seated against the cyclone fence with the Bishops and a few other future Salisbury DCC players. I remember yelling “avagoyamug” at the soon to be departing national captain, towards the end of his 10 in 110 minutes (no boundaries), something that I now regret.

    I’ve briefly scoured my “library” but no picture of Stacky’s “run out” so far (although the Australian Cricket 1971 Year Book had Shuttleworth down as the Pom that scored the direct hit with Boycott spilling one in the outfield).

    UPDATE: The article in this edition of The Age confirms that is was Boycott that threw down Stacky’s stumps (not Shuttleworth, despite what Eric Beecher wrote)

  4. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says
  5. John, I recall the 1970-71 series for all sorts of reasons. We ‘attended’ the washout at the MCG. Dad drove us down to Melbourne after Christmas to see the Third Test – with his typical optimism surrounding sporting events – “you can safely ignore the weather forecast!” Each morning we arrived at the ground only to be greeted by leaden skies and incessant rain. On day one they actually set the stumps and held the toss. We waited patiently for Stacky and Lawry to appear – alas it was not to be. After three days of disappointment we retreated to a 100 degrees F. Albury. Coincidentally, the day we drove home to Canberra was the day of the first one day international (played in lieu of the abandoned test). We stopped along the way at the Niagara Cafe in Gundagai and watched Dougie Walters belting the Poms to all parts. What a series: ‘firsts’ for Perth and Greg Chappell; a sacking and a new Aussie test captain; a terrorising John Snow; and the infamous ‘Jenner-Snow- Umpire Rowan – drunken crowd bully – Illingworth walk off’ affair at Sydney.

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