Old Cricketer


Story Details

Under clear, sunny skies, cricketers across Adelaide of varying talent levels have been plying their trade this summer but not many have a story to tell like 73-year-old Irishman Lingard Goulding.

"I suppose it is a defense mechanism against packing up and growing old - it's too easy to sit down - but one does have to force oneself to get out and do things," said Lingard.

"He's a great character out there, he has a huge amount of life experiences and he always plays the game in the right spirit and he never lets things get on top of him - he's a great guy to have out there in the field," said oneof Lingrad's team mates.

When Lingard and his team-mates in Goodwod's C3 side take to the field in the Adelaide Turf Cricket Association competition, even opponents admire his dedication.

"They're (opponents) a little bit shocked - most of them have played against him before - and they all respect him, it's all about respect for Lingard, no one else is playing at his age and everyone respects him," said Lingard's team mate.

With more than 60 year's experience in the game, Lingard is one of the oldest cricketers in South Australia, which could make him a soft target for sledging.

"This program is for general consumption, so I won't quote anything verbatim, but nothing very much, no. Nothing unpleasant, but they sometimes say send Grandpa back to the hutch, but nothing worse than that," said Lingard.

An elusive first-ever premiership helps motivate Lingard to train twice a week and continue to show up on match day, but the signs of wear and tear are starting to take their toll.

"My knees are usually things that pack up in the elderly but mine have been pretty good - but dammit, on Saturday night I started feeling this one and I'm a little bit lame today, but hopefully I'll be right for next weekend," said Lingard.

Injury did force Lingard to make a late start to this season while he was recovering from a broken shoulder, which he sustained when he was...

"I suppose pretending I was 17 again 6.54 and one evening we were doing relay races - sprinting for 30/40 metres; rotating 10 times then trying to run back with the baton to hand over to your mate - and of course after rotating one becomes totally disorientated and I lost my footing going flat out and crashed into my shoulder and smashed it, you can probably see it still points heaven-ward," said Lingard.

But don't expect injuries to get the better of Lingard, he remains a keen cyclist - tackling Norton Summit every second Sunday no-less - and a regular hit of squash is another pursuit he enjoys.

While Lingard Goulding is the first to admit his cricket talents were never destined for the international stage, such as the Adelaide Oval, his love of the game has seen him rub shoulders with former captains of India and the West Indies and Carl Hooper, if you're watching, he's after his regular squash partner.

"I won the first time, but he blinking well thumped me last time, - JC: so you're after Carl now - yes, I'm after carl now, but I'm not sure that I will get him, he's a few years younger than I," said Lingard.

This multi-talented septuagenarian is also a published author having written a book centered on the Irish school were he was headmaster for more than 20 years

"I play a bit back home in Ireland too, there is a slight danger of becoming cricketed-out - so there are other things I like to do as well," said Lingard.

Those other things include running 20 marathons and a stint as a semi-professional car racer - taking on some of the best drivers the world has seen.

In the competitive ranks of Formula 5000, Lingard - at his peak - was tackling some of the legends of international motor racing.

"There was one race in the year when we - Formula 5000 - we raced with the Formula One people, so yes, it was great fun to race against with Jackie Stewart , Joachim Rindt, the only posthumous world champion John Surtees and Stewart indeed," said Lingard.

Now in the twilight of his career, Lingard continues to be a role model for the half-dozen junior teams he coaches at Goodwood and Christian Brothers - and the young men he mentors hope he continues for many years to come.

"I came to Goodwood 8 years ago and Lingard was the junior coach then so he's coached me for the past 8 years and he's been a great mentor and a great inspiration for me with my cricket," said Lingard's team mate.

And revelling in the positive influence he is having on the youth of today, Lingard has no intentions of retiring just yet.

"I think at my stage in life if you stop doing something you might as well pack up you should keep on going as long as you can. 15.06 I'm just a decrepit old creature who keeps going as long as he can," said Lingard.