Robert Dalton honoured with life Membership
22 MAY 2017 | BY ADRIAN D'AGOSTINO
The club’s longest serving First Grade captain Robert Dalton was honoured with life membership at this year’s Senior Presentation
Below is a transcript of Mick Cathey’s induciton speech;
“Now you’d think that would be a hard act to follow, but if someone can measure up, it
might be this next bloke. It’s quite timely we’re here tonight celebrating the clubs 20th
anniversary, because he was there, at the old senior club, 20 years ago himself. In fact, by
the time both the old senior & junior clubs got talking about a possible merge a few years
later, he was there pushing for it, knowing full-well the benefit the senior club would get by
having a constant stream of young players bolstering its ranks, and of course the benefit to the juniors of offering a natural progression into senior cricket.
In any case, this bloke was part of the group responsible for joining the former junior &
senior clubs together to become the unified club we’re all part of today. Personally, I have
great respect for the man, when we first met around the time of the merge, he came across
as a straight shooter – he calls a spade a spade, and I like that in anyone.
It’s difficult to speak too much more of this person without really giving away who it is if I
haven’t already, but back in ‘98 he was part of the clubs first ever, First Grade team, making
the highest score of that side for the season of 81 not out, and despite a healthy collection
of half centuries since, it’s a score he’s passed only once, according to the records, on his
way to racking up well over 3,000 runs for the Redbacks! And I say according to the records
because unfortunately there are no records from the 1999/2000 season for his team.
Actually, it’s a bit of a shame about those lost records, because it affects a number of
players, a few of whom are still playing for the club, but also because (again the records
show) he’s sitting on 199 matches for the club. And while we might “officially” recognise his
200th match in Round 1 next season, we know full-well the number is closer to a dozen
He’s pretty handy with the ball too, and while he seems to have hung up his bowling boots
over the past few seasons, he’s still recognised across the district as a genuine all-rounder.
Just like with the bat, no outrageously huge returns, in fact, not even one five-fa according
to the records – just very consistent performer, season after season.
Another thing the records don’t show, is the additional wickets he’s taken with perfectlytimed remarks fired in on unsuspecting victims from mid-off. He has a sharp mind for the game, a calm presence regardless of the situation, and a leader by action.
Although he’s most well known for his on-field endeavours, he’s been well-involved with the
club off the field too; he’s a former junior coach, and he also operated as Seniors Secretary from the time of the merge till ‘06, quite a challenging role working with some of the characters around the place at the time and of course the rapidly expanding club we found ourselves in.
After what I refer to as the “post Jenks” era, he & I worked together to instill some cultural
change around the senior club, in particular instigating the first of the senior captains
meetings which was a completely different way of doing things at the time, all of a sudden
we had our captains having to take on a lot more responsibility – it didn’t please everyone,
but we persisted, and it worked. It was also a time of change where we had to become
more self-sufficient, and less reliant on things being done for us – some saw this to be
difficult, but we both saw it as an opportunity to grow the club and take it to the next level.
But it wasn’t all just hard work either, he knew how to have fun too organising the end of
season trips away to Boorowa Picnic Races, a highlight of the year for many I know!
He has three Redback Cup caps to his name, including the honour of captaining the
Redbacks Originals in the 10th Anniversary match as acknowledgment of his commitment
and loyalty to the Redbacks.
He was the clubs first, and longest serving, first grade skipper – captaining our top side on
some 86 occasions, and along with his good mate Jungles was all too often a lone hand in a losing side. He is one of only two players to have both a thousand runs & 100 wickets in first grade – and the only player to have racked up 1,000 runs in both First Grade and Second Grade.
After a long drought without premierships, he’s part of a small group that have just won
their third title back-to-back, something you’ve already heard about tonight and there’s
more on that to come.
And of course, last season he was immortalised on the award for the best and fairest player across the club as recognised by their peers, certainly a befitting reflection of the man as a player.
He’s got a bone crushing handshake which I’m sure to receive in just a moment, so without
further ado – please join me in congratulating our new Life Member of the Glenmore Park
Cricket Club, Robert Dalton.