Observation: life in Australia

This is an email from a Brisbane mate of mine who is in his 60s. No names are necessary. I think it says something about life, life in Australia, and sport.


Cricket Lovers

I will be unable to attend the Gabba Test as tomorrow morning I am having radiation dose no 14 of 35 doses for the cancer followed by having some stents put in my heart in the afternoon.

I have informed Cricket Australia of my unavailability, but advised that I will be avialable for selction later in the summer.

I am a bit worried about Punter’s hammy so I would advise all of you to wear your runners and dig that mouldy old box out of the back of the cupboard on your way to the Gabba in case Ricky breaks down in the pre-game warm-up. You can borrow his bat and pads, and they will fix you up with some whites.

Fat Matt  – when you tipped Ethiopia in the Cup I didn’t know you were going to ride it as well.

Enjoy the Cricket

About John Harms

JTH is a writer, publisher, speaker, historian. He is publisher and contributing editor of The Footy Almanac and footyalmanac.com.au. 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 three. His ambition was to lunch for Australia but it clashed with his other ambition - to shoot his age.


  1. Barkly St End says

    When my turn comes, as it undoubtedly will in the next 10 years or so, I hope I can remain as philosophical.

  2. Neil Anderson says

    Barkly…there’s no way known you’re going that early! I don’t want to be the last of the Footscray North old boys left to fly the flag for the Doggies!
    Besides, who can I celebrate with when Mitch Wallis’s son leads the sons of the sons of the sons of the Scrays to victory?

  3. Barkly St End says

    there’s no harm in dreamin’ !

  4. Goodness, memories of the Barkly St end of the Western Oval come thick and fast. Though i’m still in my 40’s, the old black gravel, tin cans of Fosters, tennis players on the courts adajacent, are fresh memories. But, if all good things are from the past, Footscray North Primary school, the Barkly st end of Western Oval, and Charlie Suttons Albert Hotel in Essex st, live on.


  5. Neil Anderson says

    Suddenly felt a bit guilty and selfish thinking back to growing up in Footscray and barracking for the Doggies etc after re-reading the article by John’s mate in hospital.
    But there is a connection to me anyway. The same age and also been through a heart operation, which was bad enough, but John’s mate has the double whammy going through cancer treatment as well.
    The fact that he can still be light-hearted in the face of such adversity shows him as a true-blue Aussie and demontrates how much sport means to most of us. His attitude reminds me of stories you hear about Diggers ready to go into battle. He might just have to be nominated for the Almanac Hall of Fame.

  6. Barkly St End says

    Glen and Neil
    to reminisce given the topic at hand does seem a bit self-indulgent, however, the tone of our stoic sporting philosopher is such that we are almost being encouraged to not dwell too much in the more serious matter involved (and serious it is).

    I wish Harmsy’s mate all the best and hope a few more seasons remain (at least).

    ps Glen – don’t get Neil and I started on the Western Oval – you’ll never hear the end of it!

  7. Reminds me of a comment by Vic Richardson (champion SA footballer/cricketer of the 20’s and 30’s and ABC broadcaster and grandfather of the Chappell’s). When they named the gates on the Eastern side of Adelaide Oval after him, he was asked what he thought of the honour. He said he was very touched, but he wished people would stop calling them the Victor Richardson MEMORIAL Gates.

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