Happy birthday, Barry gets his “OBE”

The McGregors: Barry, Anthony and Will celebrating Barry's 80th birthday at the Queensland Hotel on Wednesday. Here's to many more.

The McGregors: Barry, Anthony and Will celebrating Barry's 80th birthday at the Queensland Hotel on Wednesday. Here's to many more.

What can you say about Barry “Gunta” McGregor?

There’s plenty.

And surprisingly it’s all good.

Although some of the blokes who came up against him when he played for the Macintyre Cricket Club back in the 60s and 70s may tell you a different story.

He had a fast-bowler’s temperament, a slow-medium action and a spinner’s guile.

For those who have come up against his,  “once firebrand” son, Anthony “Deadman” McGregor on a cricket field over the years, imagine the same glare, but at a gentler pace.

Barry “retired’ from cricket for a short while before returning  to guide a young team of cricket hopefuls called Wobbly Boot. He even pulled on the boots himself and was playing well into his 60s. he still would if only they asked him.

It was a team of young guns, experience,  and older cricketers who may have seen better days who had their share of hidings in those early days.

But the young guns grew up – two of them, Barry’s son, bowler Anthony and batsman Gavin Gibson – became two Goondiwindi legends while many such as Stephen Hoole, “Porky” Lowe and Terry Chapman, amongst others, became the backbone of a club that went on to win premierships, and then as Boggbilla, become one of Goondiwindi’s most renowned sides.

And Barry was always there.

He became President of the Cricket Association and then, along with Bob Telford, became the keepers of Goondiwindi’s first-ever turf pitch.

It’s a love affair which continues 20 years later  and he now has a another family member to care for, a turf pitch at Riddles Oval.

Thankfully, even at 80, he can be seen walking out to his beloved pitches, even in the off season to make sure they are in tip-top condition and that those “damned footballers” aren’t doing too much damage.

Barry made the milestone birthday earlier in the week.

“The OBE,” says Deadman. (Old bastard’s eighty). And here’s to many, many more Barry.

Goondiwindi cricket and the community in general wouldn’t be the same without you.

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