Ahead of his Roast on January 28th, Newtown and Chilwell Cricket Club sat down with Russell Mitchell with a list of 10 questions. Here are his answers.
Q1. When did you first start playing with the Newtown and Chilwell Cricket Club?
A. 1975 at North Shore. Mr Royce took me with his son Dev in the back seat. Car was very messy as I remember, books everywhere. I had my Shaw and Shrewsbury bat, my prize possession at the time. My last birthday present from my father and some old pads. Batted without a box and gloves. Made three batting at 9. Whopped the first ball I faced for three then went out trying to whop another one. Best day of my life. I knew then that I would play for this club forever.
Q2. You’re a Life Member of the club as well as a premiership player, what does the club mean to you?
A. Hard to explain in words. All I can say is that I have been blessed to be at this great club. All my best friends are from NCCC. Met my beautiful Selina because of going out with Knackers who tried to pick her up but I cut his lunch. I don’t want to think what would have happened to me if I hadn’t followed my big brother to NCCC. Life membership is a huge honour considering I hate committees and listening to wafflers like Strop , Morgo and Tuskes.
Q3. You must have been pleased to be playing at Herne Hill Oval the other day and being able to watch Sam getting his first wicket in the First Xl.
A. Yes very proud to see my boy out there in the two blue colours. He loves the club like me which is the best thing about him being here. Wouldn’t mind facing him though if I was 19 haha!
Q4. Who is the best player in your time at NCCC, after yourself, of course?
A. Hard to separate Greg Wells, Mick Bowtell and Stephen Wells. All champions in big games. I’m leaving out a few others too like Frank Meek, Chris Lynch, Ken Davis , Mark Browne, Ben Neville, Gavin Castle. No wonder we won SIX in a row in the 70/80’s. Mark Browne was the best keeper I have seen by a country mile.
Q5. Who is your most respected opponents after all your years playing in the GCA?
A. I’d have to say East Belmont and North Geelong. Tough competitors who play like NCCC. I have had many bitter battles with these clubs but as the years have passed mutual respect is now in order. I just lied then, I hate them all.
Q6. Who is your favourite person at NCCC and why?
A. Very hard to single any one out. I love all the players who wear the colours but David Shaw and Stroppa’s family are family to me. I love playing with Dev he always gives his all, always. One person I can’t stand is Frank Tuskes … what a useless p. Always encouraging me to gamble and he knows I’ve got a very bad problem. Shocking friend. Sehwag isn’t much better. I love Stinker, he’s got a bad temper like me and always gives it to the opposition. Plus he lets me sing every now and then.
Q7. They are lining up a lot of people to speak at your Roast on the 28th, do you intend to give as good as you get?
A. They’d better be careful about what they say as I have last right of reply and I have a great memory and I have got dirt on all of them.
Q8. All premierships are special, but is there a favourite among yours?
A. Tough question. I was very lucky to play in three premierships in a row in 81-82 2nds, 82-83 1sts, 83-84 1sts. I had THREE turf flags before I was 20 and I didn’t think much about it because we just won everything. You took it for granted. We lost 84-85 under Goose and that was heart-wrenching. Only time I’ve ever shed a tear after a game. When we won 87-88 with Stephen after a tie in the semi-final, That was the greatest feeling I’ve had after winning a flag. What a night that was, the rooms busting at the seams and it was against North the arch enemy. 2012-2013 Second’s flag was pretty special as I got to win one with my great mate Dev and Stroppa and a little junior called George Chisholm. Winning last year with Sam and getting a flag for Red was pretty special. The useless prick deserved to finally win one. Winning that flag with Dev and Jack and getting photos with Laura are precious memories for me considering Laura was like a mum to me. I miss her so much.
Q9. Have you ever said anything on a cricket field you regret? No is acceptable!!!!!!
A. No. I only say it how I see it at the time and I have a very short fuse when I’m wearing the NCCC colours. I never get personal. You have to remember I hate the opposition and I don’t like weak efforts so sometimes I lose the plot. Stephen Wells was the same when he was skipper. He will disagree of course but we were all shit-scared of him when he captained. Bad tempered little bastard. I probably shouldn’t swear as much but I’m old and losing my marbles and I can’t help it so I have an excuse. Tried Serenity now but it doesn’t work.
10. Should you have played more games of football for Geelong or were you happy enough going from club to club in local football and taking their money?
A. In hindsight I should have played a couple more seasons which I regret now but if I had done so I wouldn’t played in the 87-88 flag which is my most cherished so in the wash up I made the right decision plus I got to fleece all these football clubs and go on countless footy trips for free.