The 50-year birthday celebrations for the Millicent Footballers Cricket Club in 2014 drew cricketers from near and far.
The members of the powerhouse club were keen to mark half-a-century in the Millicent and District Cricket Association
The party was held at McLaughlin Park and past player John Madden helped organisers in spreading the word about the reunion event.
His involvement in local cricket dates back to the 1960s and he well remembers its heyday in this decade when a South Australian X1 featuring Ian Chappell played a Millicent representative team on the then turf wicket alongside the Cellulose Mill at Snuggery.
Madden’s dedication to the Millicent Footballers Cricket Club and over 100 matches as a player was recognised with the awarding of the coveted red tie.
It was worn to the 2014 celebrations as it was in 2004 when the club marked 40 years of playing in the Millicent and District Cricket Association.
“I was not part of the first season of the Footballers and I joined a couple of years later.
“The club was founded by Millicent Football Club coach Wally Dittmar and he was assisted by people like Bevon Turner and Norm Blum,” Madden said.
Another who provided assistance to the reunion organisers was Di Facey and her connections to the club are very strong.
Her husband Norm was a foundation member and a “red tie wearer” and their son John is a former A Grade skipper of the club.
As she did in 2014, she helped to assemble the club’s progress on the playing field in its various grades.
Her scrapbooks are an unrivalled account of sport in this region in the post-war years.
The Millicent Footballers Cricket Club reunion festivities began in 2014 when the current A Grade team played its arch rivals and co-tenants Millicent on Facey Oval.
The second stage of the celebrations was the post-match opportunity in the clubrooms to catch up with some old teammates for a yarn and reliving of some of the history of the club.
One notable past player who could not be present was all-rounder John Frick who played with the Millicent Footballers in the 1980s while stationed as a constable at the Millicent Police Station.
The highlight of Frick’s cricket career came earlier as a teenager on the Adelaide Oval during the 1975/76 season.
He was playing as a left-arm spinner for the South Australian Under
19 team against the visiting West Indians.
One of his victims was “master blaster” Sir Vivian Richards.
Frick later went on to play a handful of Sheffield Shield matches for SA in the following season.
He was also a league footballer with North Adelaide in the SANFL and played with the Millicent Saints during the winter months.