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Dennis Lillee and John Newcombe. I dreamed of opening the bowling for Australia, and winning Wimbledon. True, I achieved neither, but I did once get a very useful 2 wickets for 8 for the Knox Grammar School's Under14 C team, and I also once took a set off Julian Lovell in Fifth Form. And he went on to be AT LEAST one of the top ten tennis players of the Sixth Form at Knox Grammar.
All Black TERRY LINEEN, test cricketer BERT SUTCLIFFE and the world champion middle-distance runner PETER SNELL
From soccer it was Leeds and Juventus' 'Il Gigante Buono', Swansea born John Charles. From rugby, it was former Swansea, Wales and British Lion wing threequarter Dewi Bebb. By chance, we became work colleagues at HTV Wales in years to come. When I commentated on the final of the Rugby World Cup in South Africa in 1995, Dewi was directing back in Cardiff. At the end of transmission, he opened all the microphones and declared that was his finest hour in broadcasting. Thousands of miles away in Jo'burg I shed a tear. Nine months later he passed away. I cried.
Richard Hugh McCaw - to be known universally as Richie - came into the world.
GEFFIN, AARON (‘OKEY’)
Transvaal and South Africa
7 internationals for South Africa 1949–51
A prop who made the headlines in 1949 when his prodigious goal-kicking for the Springboks helped them to beat the touring All Blacks 4–0 in the test series.
In the first test New Zealand led South Africa by 11 to 3 at one stage. Goal-kicking duties had been allotted to the Griquas fullback, Jack van der Schyff, for the match, but after he missed two shots Geffin picked up the ball and, uninvited, took the next penalty.
Geffin put over five penalty attempts, virtually beating New Zealand, 15–11, on his own. It was a record number of penalties for any player in a test match up to that time. He did the same in the third test, scoring all of South Africa’s points in its 9–3 win, and in the other two tests he kicked three further goals.
Hailed as a hero that year, Geffin made the Springbok team for the 1951–52 tour of Britain where he also scored impressively with seven conversions –a test record – against Scotland. South Africa won 44–0.
By then Geffin was 31 years old and he eventually lost his place in the Springboks’ scrum. But he will always be remembered as a match-winner by fans of the Springboks – and by disappointed New Zealanders!
His nickname of Okey came from his habit of responding ‘Okay’ when called to take a shot at goal.
Which prominent New Zealand rugby personality admits having become slightly besotted by the British Theatre Production 'Les Miserables?'