Robert (Bob) Button - Mount Waverley Played 1965 - 1981
My first encounter with Mount Waverley CC was the summer of 1965. As a family we had moved from WA late in the previous summer and one of my school friends (Rob Woolley) suggested I come down to the club and play cricket.
At that stage the club still played in the Oakleigh District association on Matting. It was over the next few years lead by people such as Dennis Parsons, Ray Price, my father and others that the club started the campaign to become a Sub District club. Initially we moved into the Eastern District Association. At that time I was still playing under 16. In my last year of U16 I was the captain - we made the finals but lost unfortunately. For my last 2 years in U16 I played both morning and afternoon.
After moving to the senior ranks I played 1 season (I think) some of it in the senior division of ESDCA and then after being encouraged by Joe Plant (my pre season coach and was the coach of South Melbourne) moved to play with South Melbourne. In the first year I got very close to district seconds a few times however after that my studies (Engineering at RMIT) got in the way of the dedication needed to make the higher grades in district cricket. I spent most of my time at South Melbourne in the 3rds. It was around 1974 when Mt W was a fledgeling Sub District club that I was talked into coming back. Aftter that I played most of my cricket in the firsts and seconds and had the chance to chase my first passion of keeping. I also spent a couple of years on the committee as property steward (That was a thankless task!) I had a few sojourns in lower grades particularly after a couple of periods where I did not play (for reasons I can not remember).
Some memorable moments were a third grade final where Gary McRorie and I had a large partnership that laid the foundation of the ultimate win.
Around the same time we had Warwick Kiernan as our "shock" bowler and more than once once I can remember opponents being bowled while looking from a foot outside the leg stump. Warwick was quite fast and very unpredictable.
The last couple of seasons I played mostly in the firsts as a keeper .
Keeping to Eddie Illingworth was fun but to David Jones was often a nightmare. I guess at that stage I was not able to practice as much as I would like due to pressures of work and was probably at best borderline as both a keeper and batsman at firsts level. My feet just did not move as fast as I needed them to.
At the beginning of the 81/82 season I basically said my goodbyes as I was transfered to the USA to work for a year. During that time I took up golf more seriously and when I got back from the US continued with golf. I effectively retired from cricket as felt I could not get enough practice in to continue at the level I wanted to. On reflection probably not the best decision I made but that's life. At least golf has been kind to me over the years. Probably one of my last actions at Mt Waverley was to put up some guarantee money to enable building of the clubroom extension that was built in 1982 I think.
A couple of people I remember playing with and against who went on to bigger and better things were the Hewitt brothers (Mike and Steve) , Ossie Moore and as an oppopnent Ross McLellan who went on to play some games for South Australia. Against Ross it was always fun - I can remember Graham Templar coming down the wicket once when we batting and asking if I could actually see the ball when Ross bowled - he was quick.
These days I am a resident of the US. We have family in both Australia and the US (my wife is American) so I suspect most of the rest of my life will be spent between the US and Australia somehow.
Robert H Button
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