Walsh’s will to win never waned

December 2, 2021 BY

Grit: Best known as a top-order batsman, Wayne Walsh is also Bendigo sporting legend in football, golf and bowls. Photo: SUPPLIED

TO have played in one cricket premiership is a fine achievement, but to do so thirteen times is a feat few will celebrate.

In a career spanning more than 20 years, Wayne Walsh was a driving force in the first XI premiership dynasties at Eaglehawk and then Golden Square.

A brilliant top-order batsman who accumulated 10,068 runs, Walsh was an inspirational leader.

He struck 24 centuries and a highest score of 202 across a first XI career of 285 matches.

Walsh was inducted to Bendigo’s Sports Star of the Year Hall of Fame in 2011-12.

Whether it be cricket, football, golf, or these days on the lawn bowls green, Walsh’s competitive streak is still strong.

He first played cricket with Bendigo High School under-13s and then progressed to the White Hills second XI where a team-mate was his father, Paddy.

Because White Hills was not fielding a first XI team, Walsh crossed to Eaglehawk for the 1975-76 season.

He played in nine first XI grand final wins for the Hawks and was coach of six in a reign from 1983-84 to 94-95.

Golden Square completed one of the greatest recruiting coups when Walsh headed to Wade Street for the 1995-96 season.

The result? The Bulldogs won four A-grade premierships in a row.

He was inducted in the Team of the Century at both Eaglehawk and Golden Square cricket clubs.

The first player to win the Bendigo District Cricket Association Cricketer of the Year award on three occasions, Walsh also played a significant off-field roles at Eaglehawk and Golden Square.

On the coaching front, he was in charge when Bendigo ended a 54-year drought when it won the Provincial Group final at Melbourne Country Cricket Week in 2006-07.

Walsh later took on the presidency of the BDCA.

The consummate ‘big game’ player, Walsh and long-time Hawks’ team-mate Max Taylor have been recognised with the Walsh-Taylor Medal awarded to the best player in the BDCA’s first XI grand final.

In the winter months Walsh was a tough and skilful rover and premiership-winning player at Golden Square.

He took on the challenge of being captain-coach of North Bendigo when it joined the Bendigo Football League from the Golden City competition in 1983.

The Bulldogs reached the elimination final in Walsh’s first season.

After a three-year stint as North Bendigo coach, Walsh headed to Canterbury Park to don the famous two blue guernsey.

Thank you for supporting local journalism!