Dunedin sport . . .

Like most of you, I was bewildered by the notorious male-only list - which appeared in the ODT but was NOT compiled by this fine, enlightened publication - of notable Dunedin residents.

Based on achievement (preferably) or balance, there really needed to be some women on that list.

The sports editor was particularly annoyed at the absence of Yvette Williams and Lois Muir, two massively important figures in Dunedin history.

So, here is my opportunity to bring some sanity back to the debate.

Here are the 17 most notable Dunedin sporting residents.

In alphabetical order - it's too difficult trying to do one per decade.

And it's been done with relative haste so I have leaned towards relatively prominent athletes and coaches.

 

. . . down . . .

Vic Cavanagh: Genius rugby coach who basically defined the way New Zealanders played the game.

Russell Coutts: The most gifted sailor in New Zealand history who won Olympic gold and multiple America's Cup titles.

Jimmy Duncan: Another remarkable rugby brain who pioneered the five-eighth backline formation.

Tom Ellison: Captained the first official New Zealand rugby team and wrote one of the sport's first coaching manuals.

Iain Gallaway: The voice of Otago sport for a very long time.

Duncan Laing: Master swimming coach who produced dozens of elite athletes and taught thousands of Dunedin people how to swim.

Danyon Loader: Will the city ever produce another double Olympic gold medallist?Jack Lovelock: Spent only a brief spell in Dunedin as a student, but let's claim him. The king of runners.

 

. . . the decades

Brendon McCullum: Hey, the little master might not live in the city now but he is Dunedin through and through. Should be the mayor. And the head of the Southern DHB. And the editor of the ODT.

Jenny McDonald: The godmother of New Zealand hockey.

Lois Muir: The godmother of New Zealand netball.

Joe Scott: New Zealand's first world champion, in race walking. Must not be forgotten.

Kereyn Smith: Versatile administrator who broke ground wherever she went.

Bert Sutcliffe: The title of his biography - The Last Everyday Hero - says it all.

Glenn Turner: Had to have a Turner in this list. Sorry Greg, sorry Brian.

Yvette Williams: The most ground-breaking figure in the history of New Zealand sport. Fact.

Jeff Wilson: The golden one is an automatic inclusion on all my lists.

Missing the cut are folks like basketball great Glen Denham, cycling world champion Alison Shanks, table tennis pioneer Yvonne Fogarty, rugby coach Laurie Mains, philanthropist Eion Edgar and modern stars Ben Smith, Suzie Bates and Hamish Bond.

Email me your suggestions.

 

The 1915 final

Dunedin identity Geoff Simons alerted The Clutch to a fascinating piece of rugby history that is almost a case of perfect timing.

One hundred years ago, the last game of the Dunedin club rugby season (there was no final back then) was between University and Southern - which would have been repeated tomorrow had Southern not lost to Taieri.

University won that 1915 game 27-0, but what happened on the field was quickly forgotten.

Southern had a three-point lead at the top of the table.

Wins were worth two points, so the Magpies had the title in the bag and subsequently weren't too bothered about the final game.

The Otago Daily Times referred to a ''sinister rumour'' as it reported one of the Southern players quit at halftime in disgust at the half-hearted efforts of his OWN team.

After an inquiry, the Otago union slapped life bans on Jim Graham and Jim Douglas for ''selling'' the game.

The pair applied for reinstatement in 1922. Douglas was successful but Graham's bid was denied.

 

Sean and Schweiny

People knock video games but I will be a passionate defender (and player) until I am too old to wield a controller.

The great thing about playing sports video games is that you live out your wildest fantasies as a would-be athlete, coach or executive.

You can put the Wellington Phoenix into the English Premier League and sign Wayne Rooney, or make Hayden Meikle the quarterback for the St Louis Rams.

But what is perhaps even GREATER is when the virtual and actual worlds collide.

My colleague Sean Flaherty, like me, has been a Fifa player for some years.

He's a Man United fan, so he always plays as Man United.

And he's a massive fan of German midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger.

So, every year, the first thing he does when he starts a new career at Old Trafford is sign his idol.

Imagine, then, how Sean is feeling right now at the ACTUAL sight of Schweinsteiger in a Man United shirt.

If life imitates art, when will I get to see Liverpool win the Premier League?

 

The first quote

''When we played at Man United, he came to meet me after the game. I said: `Come on, you don't miss it?' He says: `No.' He had enough. He goes to every game. But he has horses. I have no horses.''

- Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger, having been asked if he is ready to retire, recalls a meeting with former Manchester United gaffer Sir Alex Ferguson.

 

The second quote

''I completely respect the court's decision, and I humbly accept the judgement by the law. I am sorry to those who have supported me, including all my fans and South Koreans, for causing anxiety.''

- Korean golfer Bae Sang-Moon plans to play the rest of the PGA Tour season before submitting to his mandatory military service.

 

Triumph

I was very much hoping for a Jordan Spieeeeeeeeeth win at the British Open to keep the dreams of an astonishing grand slam alive.

Sadly it wasn't to be. Congratulations anyway, Zach Johnson.

 

Disaster

Domestic abuse charges, mental health issues, and another prominent player linked with the appalling treatment of a woman.

Not a great week for rugby league.

hayden.meikle@odt.co.nz

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