Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Podcast: Beefy v Lillee

A great cricketing duel on the pitch, for one evening only it actually continued off it - in front of 20-odd thousand punters at Adelaide Globe Derby Raceway, 23 years ago.
Someone told me about a Botham v Lillee Trotting Challenge in 1983 and it sounded like a good story to pursue. It appears that cricketers always did these kind of things back then to pull in the crowds, so I went along to the track to find out more; and although the atmosphere seemed a touch backward at first, I couldn't get enough by the end. I first spoke to 80-year-old Jack, a former pro-Harness Racing trainer, who then told me to go to the bistro where there was a guy called Barry Norman "whose lived behind the track for 30 years, so if anyone should know it's him."
With some okay stuff in the bag, it was time to leave. "Oi, are you the Pom wanting to know about this Lillee thing?" Jackpot. I was taken to see Pete, president of South Australian Harness Racing who gave me the lowdown on how Beefy "was shitting it". Anyway, listen to the podcast I did for Nobok Sports here. Scroll down to 'Beefy gets the trots'.
*I was phoned up by a local Adelaide station today to speak about my plight on finding racegoers from that night. Low and behold, somone got in touch to say they had a signed programme from that night. I'll do anything to see Botham in jockey silks.