Roo Spins a Great Yarn

Every now and then in the comedy caper you get to work with someone who transports you back to your childhood.

First a confession. Bruce “Roo” Yardley wasn’t one of my cricket heroes  growing up. Lillee and Marsh were top of the tree with me.

But I do remember the gangly spinner who was handy with the bat and brilliant in the gully. He had a big mo and and an even bigger grin permanently plastered on his face.

Last night he was the special guest for the Variety Bash folk making an overnight stop in Albany, W.A.

He told them of the time he took on the fearsome Windies quicks on their home turf, no helmet, no thigh or arm guard and belted the fastest ever test 50 against Roberts, Colin Croft and Joel Garner who were all determined to physically maim him.

Eventually out for  74, it’s still the fastest ever half century by an Australian.

He took big wickets, great catches and valuable runs and was an integral part of one of the best Australian cricket teams ever during one of the golden eras of the game. In 1982 he was the Benson and Hedges International Cricketer of the Year.

His playing career ended more than thirty years ago but not his involvement with the game. He’s coached Sri Lanka and indigenous junior teams with great success and been heavily involved in great humanitarian work in India and Sri Lanka.

There’s been a couple of marriage breaks ups and a bout of eye cancer. The Roo’s come through it all with the same face splitting grin intact

He’s also self-published one of the great cricket biographies of recent times.

Like the man himself “Roo’s Book” is a bit rough around the edges but disarmingly warm and honest and its managed to elevate him to an equal footing with Bacchus and D.K in my personal cricketing Hall Of Fame.

If you bump into him. Make sure you buy a copy. Like the man himself, it’s a one-off.

Roo Cover

Roo’s Book. A great read by a great bloke.


Bruce “Roo” Yardley with Des Dowling after their Albany gig.












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