South Aus­tralia’s 1



JUST who is South Aus­tralia’s best-ever sports­man or woman? Af­ter jockey Ker­rin McEvoy’s win on Cross Counter to notch his third suc­cess in the Mel­bourne Cup, his name must surely be part of the dis­cus­sion.

Add to those vic­to­ries his re­cent back-to-back tri­umphs in the world’s rich­est race on turf, The Everest, and if McEvoy’s not in the top 10 his bank bal­ance most cer­tainly is. Of course, his ca­reer is far from over and it will be lit­tle sur­prise if pushes him­self higher among this group when his rid­ing days are done.

This is a con­ver­sa­tion with­out a de­fin­i­tive an­swer.

Beauty, as they say, is in the eye of the be­holder and the big­gest im­pres­sions are of­ten made when we are young. It was that way for me.

Cricket great Ian Chap­pell will al­ways be my No.1. No other sportsper­son made a big­ger im­pact on me as a young­ster.

This top 10 is about those who played, not coached, oth­er­wise cy­cling men­tor Char­lie Walsh would be there. And nei­ther are train­ers el­i­gi­ble, oth­er­wise Cups King Bart Cum­mings and the great Colin Hayes would be there.

If com­men­ta­tors could make the list, Bruce McA­vaney would be top of the pops. He is spe­cial!

Sir Don­ald Brad­man is not el­i­gi­ble, ei­ther, de­spite play­ing 14 first-class sea­sons South Aus­tralia. The boy from Bowral was born and bred in New South Wales. We’d love to claim him, but we can’t.

So here’s my top 10 ... RUS­SELL Ebert was po­etry in mo­tion on a foot­ball field.

When he had the ball in his hands, the game moved slowly and he did as he pleased. He rev­o­lu­tionised SANFL foot­ball. He did what few oth­ers could.

A record four Ma­garey Medals later, from 1971 to 1980 when the SANFL was in one of its strong­est eras, it would be fair to say he did what no oth­ers could.

When Ebert donned the state jumper, we all cel­e­brated hav­ing him on our team. He re­sisted the temp­ta­tion to play in the VFL un­til late in his ca­reer.

Even then, he re­mained in Ade­laide and com­muted to Mel­bourne where he played 25 games for North Mel­bourne in the 1979 sea­son. He had the most pos­ses­sions of any Kan­ga­roos player and polled nine Brown­low Medal votes be­fore re­turn­ing home. The drop kick died once Rus­sell stop thump­ing it 60m.

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