Nunawading Cricket Club

Alan Gale

Alan (Butch) Gale

Alan, better known as Butch, first played at Nunawading in 1978-79 after playing a couple of seasons with his employer, ANZ Bank’s turf side. After his first training session at Nuna he remembers going back to the Sakers and someone asked him how he went, before he could open his mouth Bob Saker said ‘he wouldn't be taking Joycey's spot’.  Butch was amazed at  the knowledge and experience in the club, with names such as McLachlan, (his first captain and still regarded as one of his best), Saker, Dolan, Rowe, Bissett, Hutchins,  O'Sullivan and Joyce.  As a player aged 22, to Alan, it certainly was a tremendous advantage to be learning and playing alongside some of the best players you could have.

Butch played in three First XI Premierships and perhaps best remembered for taking the winning catch in a 10 run victory against Heatherdale in 82-83. He taped the ball to his hand during the entire evening’s celebrations. A highlight to Alan, was to have played in a
Premiership with each of the Saker boys but he also played with Bob in the one game, only for him to be dropped for Bill in the next.  One thing that he looks back on at Nuna with a great deal of pride was the way the club was run at Committee level right through to the Junior Co-Ordinator level.  The junior coaching side of things, which is taken for granted at Nuna, is really unique.

Butch remembers getting back to the clubrooms after a day out where he took 9/42 and, now father-in-law,  Bob Saker asked why Butch didn't get the last one.  Butch explained he had a chance but missed and Joycey got the last.  As Bob walked off he simply said "Weak as Piss". 

Butch was a very competitive player at Nunawading and was captain of 2nd and 3rd elevens for a few seasons..  His competitive nature and will to win made him a dynamo on the field.  All of us who played with him will never forget his well-worn phrase "those first eleven players will be shitting like big black alsations", when trying to gee up his 2nd eleven batsmen for  a big day.  His sense of humour and perpetual grin made him a dynamo off the field as well. 

Alan served the club on the committee for many years and was especially talented at organising social functions.  He broke new ground at Nunawading by holding new functions, and with his wife Ros (Saker), staged many gatherings, including a player reunion in 1985.