Boots wore out, but he still plays

© Warren Nunn, 1983

One of nature's gentlemen ... Stan Alberts

ROCKHAMPTON.— Stan Alberts, 50, loves cricket so much he does not want to think about retirement.

Many years ago he was injured while fielding and his wife asked him to give the game away.

“I’ll retire when my boots wear out,” he told her. They lasted 22 years and then he bought a new pair.

Stan, clearly the oldest A grade cricketer in the city, took three wickets for club side Brothers in the first fixture match this season.

His father, Henry, who died last year, gave him the inspiration for his cricket. An off-spin bowler and middle-order batsmen, Henry was also a specialist first slip.

“They still talk about the day he square cut Eddie Gilbert for six,” Stan recalled.

Stan’s sons will have plenty to recall about their father’s achievements.

The 1968-69 season was Stan’s finest. Playing for Dee Valley in the Rockhampton competition, Stan slammed 565 runs before Christmas, including three centuries, and notched more than 1000 runs for the season.

He almost got three centuries in a row. “I got 121 against Schuller, 107 against Johnnie Mackay and then was bowled for 87,” he said.

Working for the Queensland Railways, Stan was always on the move, but he played cricket wherever he went. Just about everywhere he played, Stan notched up centuries and picked up plenty of wickets.

The one place a century eluded him was Cloncurry. Despite that, in the two seasons he played club and representative cricket in the area, he amassed more than 2000 runs.

There have been many special moments over the years for Stan, but none sweeter than walking out to open the innings for the Queensland Railway Institute side in a match at Canberra.

He carried his bat for an unbeaten 63 that day.

These days, Stan is not the same punishing left-hander feared by bowlers throughout Central Queensland, but his crafty leg-spinner is still a strong weapon. It will be used against his 21-year-old son, Jeff, some time this season. Jeff is a middle-order batsman with Parkana.

Cricket is not Stan’s only sport. A former Central Queensland bantamweight and featherweight boxing champion, he also plays golf, bowls and snooker.

His two big thrills in boxing were his win on points against German Olympic boxer Paul Rudloff at Hughenden in 1955, and training Eddie Barney to win the Queensland and Australian flyweight championships in 1962. Barney went on to represent Australia at the Perth Empire Games.

As for retiring from cricket: “I’ll take it year by year. At the moment I love my cricket too much, but I’d like to go out winning a premiership with Brothers.”

UPDATE 2016: Newspaper website article about Stan Alberts Shield cricket carnival.