The Gray Story

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TheGrayFamily’s first connection with Midland-Guildford would have commencedabout 1923, with the arrival ofHedleyGray, the father of my older brother John (1941)and Myself (1945).

Hedleywas a budding champion leg spinner and gifted stroke player from the SwanHelena districts (Middle Swan Cricket Club). Also, at the same time AlbertGray Hedley’sfather, was riding his bike from Middle Swan to Midland Oval every week toprepare wickets, and was later honoured with life membership. Even thoughHedley’sstay at Midland was brief due to the interfering outbreak of WWII, he won the bowlingaggregate in 1936/37 and club champion in 1938/39.

In conversation with Jack Mann years later, he told me that he coached his own sons inthe art of leg spin bowling because of his admiration ofHedley’sskill.

Unfortunately,Hedleywas killed in the Solomon islands and never able tofulfilhisdestiny as a cricketer - but never the less left a heritage that the rest of the family has triedto fill over the years.

After the war, my mother (Ida) marriedHedley’sdevoted brotherNowell who was tobecome a tremendous role model for John and Myself and later father of Trevor (1948).Nowell who himself played A Grade before the war and briefly after for Midland-Guildford returned to the Swan Helena district because of work commitments and hisnew family.Nowelladmired independence and initiative and one day observed youngboys bringing in gravel from the Black Adder Creek area to the block at the corner of George and Great Northern Highway. He was so taken by their efforts that he personallydelivered a load of gravel to that block. The resilient cricket pitch was played on by boyswho later went on to represent Australia, Western Australia and at least 5 who played AGrade cricket at Midland-Guildford.

In 1957, I finally played Junior cricket with Midland-Guildford and was part of the 1959premiership side (U/16) - due a great deal to the ability of our little blonde leg spinnerTony Mann. Over the next few years I steadily climbed the grades and made my FirstGrade debut in 1962/63. My proudest moment came in the following season when Ishared in a then club 3rd wicket partnership of 205, with Eric German scoring (125) andmyself adding 81. Also that year, we reached the semi-finals played at the W.A.C.A onlyto be defeated by South Perth.

In the years (1964/67) my brother John was the club secretary andNowellhad returned toplay in the Fourth Grade side. Also Trevor, who was a fourteen year old, had taken 68wickets in a season, was making his mark as a batsman.

On the social side, theGrayhousehold became a hub of Club activity, especially afterChristmas time when, after the kids presents had been handed out, test matches wereplayed on the back lawn into the wee small hours of the morning.

It is history now that I left Midland Guildford in the mid seventies and played with agreat deal of success in the Swan Helena Competition. On my return in 1981, I boughtwith me Tom Pivac who was to captain seconds, thirds and fourths to premiership andbecome our current club president.

In all that timeMidland-Guildfordhas grown in stature with people like Keith Slater,Kevin Gartrell, Tony Mann and Bruce Yardley paving the way for the likes of our currentcrop of state and international players headed by Tom Moody, Jo Angel, Brendon Julianand our latest shinning star SimonKatich.

It is amazing to think that we have come from Midland Oval with the white bike trackaround the outside (try looking at that when it was 41 degrees plus) to the present playingconditions that now exists at Lilac Hill. It wasn’t easy but the memory goes back to theSportsmen Dinners at the Swan Districts Football Club and finally to the newtraditional Lilac Hill Festival Matches.

For the last 19 years I have been a club selector and relinquished that role for the comingseason. No doubt that with two sons Jason and Shane involved in the district and club,also grandson Braydon (aged 2 years) theGrayFamily’slink with Midland—Guildford either inadministrationor on the playing field will continue. So on behalf of theGrayFamily I would like to thank Midland - Guildford Cricket Club and all the friends andteammates we have made over the years.

Glenn Gray

NowellGraypassed away on 24/02/1990

IdaGrayis still playing bowls (80 years of age)

John Gray lives in Bunbury, owns Bunbury Mortgage Brokers & Finance Co.

GlennGraylives at Middle Swan and Lilac Hill Summer Residence

TrevorGraylives in Duncraig, works at Water Corp.

Memorable moments:

  • Playing Junior cricket for Cobbers Cricket Club, where Midland Centre Point now stands
  • Sitting in the old wooden grandstand watching the First Grade playing at Midland Oval.
  • My heroes at Midland-Guildford in the early years were K. Gartrell, K.Slater, T.Matlejan.
  • Listening to the radio when K. Slater destroyed the Poms batting line up.
  • Driving to the First grade games in my VW with three teammates. Impossible today, if you putwheels on the current player-’s coffins they would be bigger than my car.
  • My first introduction to Warwick Fear who was to have a big impact on the club.(President1979-85)
  • Trying to explain just how quick Stan Wilson really was. As the saying goes, “You had to bethere”.
  • Being involved with Clubpremiershipsand One-Day victories. Particularly l969/7O when allwas lost until Jack Gartrell inspired brother Kevin to mesmerise the opposition with his off spin bowling.
  • Seeing the batting talents of our imported players, the likes of N.O’Niel B.Richards and A.Stewart.
  • S.Katichscoring 125 runs to Win last seasons One Day Competition final.
  • Mark Lavender signing as Captain/Coach of last two seasons.
  • Emerging talents - P. Worthington, C.Pivac
  • Club Administration Award to G.Gray I988/99


It is with pleasure that I recall some of my experiences and highlights of my career withthe Midland Guildford Cricket Club.

I started in the Junior U/ 16 competition aged 14 in the 1962/63 season coached by the lateBobDreger, after coming from the Swan Helena competition under coach Jack Mann atMiddle swan.

In the second season of juniors we went premiers under captain Bruce Yardley. Notableplayers of this era were also Stan Wilson, DennisYagmichand AllanJefferieswhoaccording to a newspaper article was the first junior to hit a century for Midland

At the same time I commenced my first season in 2nd grade. I recall the first match againstUniversity at Midland Oval on a slow dry wicket. Uni hit 3 for 380 odd and I took an unflattering 1 wicket for 83.

The second match against West Perth on the Western wicket at the WACA was acomplete turnaround. In terms of personal achievement this would be one of my mostenjoyable and memorable games. In their 1st innings, I spun my leg breaks on aresponsive pitch taking 5/23 and followed up with 8/55 in the 2nd inning. This mountedball still takes pride of place in my collection of memorabilia.

In this season I took 62 wickets and won the bowling average for the 1963/64 seasonunder the guidance of captain Jack Gartrell. Excellent fielding and many wonderfulstumping dismissals by wicketkeeper AllanFaustsupported my bowling.

Primarily, a bowler, my batting started to develop after a session with Tony Locke whoslightly adjusted my batting technique. Batting regularly at the tail end I recorded 13innings, 8 n.o., for 127 runs with a highest score of 41 n.o.against Fremantle.

The following year I achieved a hat trick in the morning juniors and played my first AGrade game in the afternoon against North Perth taking 3 wickets for 26 runs. Over thenext four years I played several A Grade games due mainly to state commitments bysenior players. Despite my ambitions to play in the top grade, I enjoyed the success of theball in second grade, particularly with my brother Glenn who captained the side.

In the 1967/68 season we won the colt’s U/21 premiership. We had the hostile pace ofStan Wilson and the guile of Bruce Yardley’s swing that gave us the edge. Stan laterrepresented the state and Bruce exploits for Australia are well documented. In the battingwe also had Wally Edwards who later played for Australia and other fine players. To winthis competition was no mean feat as we were up against tough opposition in the likes ofDennisLillee Rod Marsh, Jock Irvine, BobMassieetc from other clubs.

I really relished the fighting spirit of Midland. The intense fielding was a feature and theMidland players were recognised for their wonderful fieldingand powerful throwingarms.

Regularly, after net practice, time was spent skimming the ball off the big band roller forslip catching or throwing down the single wicket. The finale was the pressure of takingyour quota of high balls before you could go home. Camped under the big hits of Spud orGardiein the twilight of fading light tested even the most reliable catcher.

In the 1969/70 season I moved to theMt.LawleyClub and after a couple of seasons layoff from cricket I returned to Midland Guildford in the 1976/77 season.

Under Charles Fear I recommenced in the 4”‘ Grade and over the ensuring years played inall grades. I hit a century in all grades except A grade, but had the distinction of openingthe batting with the calibre Barry Richards.

Over the next two years I become the Assistant Secretary serving under the leadership of Warwick Fear (President) and Kevin Gale (Secretary). It was a time of excitingdevelopment with the club relocating to Lilac Hill Park.

In the twilight of my cricketing days there are two real highlights. Winning the 1979/802nd grade premiership under Captain Tom Pivac as well as scoring a well compiled 73 andcaptaining the 3”“ grade to a premiership in 1983/84. Unfortunately due to shoulder injuryI was a spectator for the finals, however, acting captain Tom Pivac did a marvellous jobto polish offSubiaco-Floreatto take the flag. I had some consolation in winning thebatting average.

At the end of the 1984/85 season at the age of 36 I retired. It was an enjoyable journey and I consider that I had had a good inning. My only regret is that I never recaptured theability to bowl leg breaks as in my teenage years.

I would like to acknowledge the players and supporters (too many to mention) whohelped me, particularly in those early years when I required transportation to the games.Also my parents,Nowelland Ida, and older brothers John and Glenn who were a greatsource of encouragement to me in those impressionable years.

Together with the friendship and comradeship I have fond memories of my playing daysat Midland. I wish the Club continued success in the future and hope it retains thosespecial and unique qualities that sets Midland-Guildford apart from any other club in WA.

Trevor Gray

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