IAN STANLEY: 1948 – 2018
To those that knew Ian Stanley, he was never Ian but always ‘Stan’ … ‘Stan The Man’, one of the great characters of Australian golf.
The death of Ian Stanley after a long battle with cancer robbed us of a great character and left the game almost bereft of humour, writes Brendan Moloney.
The death of Ian Stanley after a long battle with cancer on July 29 robbed us of a great character and left the game almost bereft of humour.
On the pro circuits of Australia, Europe, New Zealand and the Pacific, where some players seem to have undergone personality by-pass surgery, Stanley shone like a bright star.
He once walked into a bar in New Zealand full of very large, dark-skinned gentlemen who aspired to play for the national rugby team or a career in crowd control across the Tasman and yelled: “What’s half black and wears thongs?”
In the stunned silence that ensued he told them: “Auckland.” The joint erupted, not in a race riot or swill of political correctness but with belly laughs. He was 69 when he died so you have to make comparisons with Barry McKenzie, Sir Les Patterson and Lee Trevino*. Like them he could get away with it and the world was a better and happier place as a result.
It wasn’t all beer and skittles – he seldom played skittles – because he won 30 times as a pro after coming to prominence by winning the Victorian Boys Championship in 1966 and the Huntingdale club championship before commencing his apprenticeship under professional Geo Flanagan.
He loved Huntingdale from the moment he set foot on the place but found it frustrating to go from captain of the pennant team to lowly cleaner