Thommo's speech steals the show
Hall of Fame inductee Jeff Thomson had the Allan Border Medal crowd in stitches with a memorable speech
27 January 2016, 11:18 PM AEST
Australian fast bowling legend stole the show at the 2016 Allan Border Medal with a memorable and at times off-colour Hall of Fame induction speech.
Thomson became one of just 43 players from the almost 140-year history of Australian cricket to be inducted to the Hall of Fame, alongside Queensland and Australia wicketkeeper Wally Grout.
"Thommo" formed a fearsome pace combination with Dennis Lillee and took 200 Test wickets at 28.01 – only the fourth Australia fast bowler to reach that milestone when he achieved it in his final Test in England in 1985 – and made 50 ODI appearances for Australia.
Jeff Thomson's unique action and outrageous pace made him arguably the most fearsome fast bowler in history, securing him a spot in Australian cricket's Hall of Fame
"Cricket was something I could do for fun. We were lucky in our day we could play for fun," Thomson started his speech with.
"I admire these guys who play now, they've got to work their arses off and play so much cricket – I mean all the stuff they've got to put up with, all the press all media and everything like that.
"We flew under the radar. I played football in the off-season, I did that so I could get away from cricket we didn't have to do it 12 months of the year... we wonder why they all break down, why wouldn't they break down?"
In typical Thommo style, the 65-year-old had the crowd in tears with some ribald jokes that demand viewing of the speech in full to properly appreciate.
Thomson paid tribute to fellow inductee Grout – the pair both hail from the same Brisbane club Toombul, albeit in different eras and roles.
Thomson then thanked his (presumably long-suffering) wife and children.
"For me it's all about the kids and my wife down there, all the sh*t she's had to put up with for 40 years, I mean she didn't get all the trips you girls get down here now," he quipped.
"Mate, we had to sneak them in on planes, they used to stay in some sh*thole down the road … I'm serious now! The guys will tell you, all the blokes, no wonder half of them are divorced.
"The reason you're here, what I'm happy about is all the parents and my parents – my old man is dead but my mum is still alive, she's 97 … thank Christ, sh*t I hope I don't last that long … not the way I drink.
"I'm going to run out of money very shortly, especially tonight.
"It's all those people that help you as a kid, you know the ones that don't come in this room tonight, the ones that do all the sh*t when you're a kid taking you to the games.
"They're never the recognised ones … but they're the ones that ring you up and say well done, so yeah, it's for those people.
"So thank you."