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Murray Valley Cricket Association icons honoured with hall of fame induction

Passion, commitment and talent have earned four Murray Valley Cricket Association legends a coveted place in the association’s hall of fame.

JESSICA GRIMBLE January 30, 2013 4:00am

Narelle, Shelley and ‘Smiley’ on behalf of their late father Terry Colston; David, Yvonne and Steven on behalf of their late father and husband Graham Gemmill; Dennis Burton; and front, Stan Brown.


Passion, commitment and talent have earned four Murray Valley Cricket Association legends a coveted place in the association’s hall of fame.

Dennis Burton, the late Graham Gemmill, Stan Brown and the late Terry Colston were the four new inductees to the association’s highest honour.

A dinner and presentation at Cobram-Barooga Golf Club on Friday night acknowledged their contributions to the game.

They join Mark Baldwin, Shane Maddox, Dennis Stokes and Harold Evans, who were the first inductees in 2010.

Dennis Burton recalled a ‘‘magical’’ day later in his career playing with Finley in a semi-final in 1980.

Finley was working towards its first premiership since the mid-1960s.

Burton bowled 8-1 in 8.3 overs and the side won — and the opposition showed good sportsmanship, sharing a beer at the close.

‘‘Every dog has its day — but the ball just came out of my hand that day like it was magic,’’ he said.

‘‘I can’t remember the score, but soon they were in deep, deep doggies and were all out for 32.’’

Burton said he was humbled by the honour of induction to the hall of fame.

‘‘To join this group is very humbling and for the past few weeks I’ve been wondering, why me,’’ he said.

‘‘In cricket and in life you work hard to succeed — but sometimes you lose more than you win.

‘‘You’ve gotta listen and you’ve gotta learn and at times it’s stacked against you.

‘‘But you have to accept the challenges before you and you can’t be afraid to fail.’’

Burton said he played cricket for the friendships — and the game had taught him valuable life lessons and made him a better person.

Yvonne and Steven Gemmill accepted the next award on behalf of their late husband and father, Graham Gemmill.

‘‘Dad was always full of life. With (his sons) Paul, myself and Dave as young kids he was a huge inspiration as far as cricket goes,’’ Steven said.

‘‘He taught us a lot of life lessons.

‘‘Dad was larger than life, he loved his cricket, loved the game and the friendships and teammates around him.’’

Steven said his father had the foresight in the 1970s to form a second Cobram-based club — called Cobram United Cricket Club.

‘‘He planted the seed there — literally, he planted the wicket,’’ he said.

Yvonne said her husband would be honoured to join the hall of fame.

‘‘He’s up there (in the hall of fame) now with Dennis Stokes, his best mate,’’ she said.

‘‘Graham has been gone 26 years, but he’s still the centre of attention.’’

Stan Brown played his first game of cricket at age 11 and his last game at 84. His celebrates his 99th birthday in September.

The honour board at Yalca North is covered in the name ‘Brown’.

‘‘I took over from my dad as captain of Yalca North — and I captained for just over 50 years,’’ he said.

Brown spoke of brushing shoulders with Sir Donald Bradman in 1930 at a youth tournament in Sydney and playing in 34 Country Week competitions.

He said the game had changed dramatically over his playing days — particularly the ground conditions.

‘‘I believe cricket is a wonderful game. It builds your character,’’ he said.

Narelle, Shelley and Brett ‘Smiley’ Colston received the award on behalf of their late father, Terry Colston.

Smiley said his father’s career started in the backyard with his brother where they would play ‘‘full-on Test matches’’.

Colston’s coveted career included scoring 42 centuries and his highest score of 172 not-out. He recorded 19 scores of more than 150 runs.

Smiley said his father’s greatest love was coaching and giving back to the game.

Shelley said her father always had confidence in people and guided them to achieve great things.

‘‘His legacy lives on — not only through us but through all the others he touched,’’ she said.

The next round of hall of fame inductees will be in January 2015.

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