Today brought the sad news of the passing of former Aussie medium-pacer Max Walker. A talented sportsman, he not only bowled first change behind Lillee and Thompson in 34 Test Matches, he also played 85 games with Melbourne in the VFL.
Known by all as Tangles, a nickname drawn from his distinctive bowling run up, he was a bona fide one of a kind. A true Australian character, a star in arguably the nation’s two most popular sports, he was also a personality who transcended sport in this country.
I am too young to have seen Tangles in action in either of his sporting endeavours, but he was an ever present figure in my childhood. On Wide World of Sports, The Sunday Footy Show or through his mountain of bestselling books, it was hard not to be drawn in by his infectious spirit, knack for story-telling and characteristic drawl.
The sum total of a man’s life is more than the simple addition of his achievements, but if it can be measured on the impact one has had, then Tangles lived one heck of a life. This impact Max had during his short time on the planet is evident in the heart felt and voluminous out-pouring of grief.
From politicians to cricketers, from Oscar winners to Racing car drivers, from cricket fans to those who have never watched a match, he touched them all and they are left with a sense of loss at his passing.