Blue and gold knights in shining armour

Some might call him a young fogey from the 19th century, but Tony Abbott is on the right track restoring knights and dames.

 But he hasn’t gone far enough.

What we need is what’s been missing since Don Bradman was a lad: designated sporting honours.

Keep it to four per year if necessary and, if so, there are only four possible nominations for the inaugural recipients.

Step forward, Sir Kenneth Thornett and Sir Douglas Walters.

Thornett was more than just the mayor of Parramatta; he was the upholder of truth, justice and all that was good and noble in the world.

He remains unquestionably the greatest living sportperson.

Sir Duggie has a great ring to it and if Christopher Pyne is fair dinkum about improving education standards, he will acknowledge the indirect effect the new knight has had on the language.

As valuable as any of his matchless innings.

Some might plump for something like Coleridge’s ‘‘five miles meandering with a mazy motion’’ as the great example of alliteration in the English language, but it is surely a former schoolmaster in Frank ‘‘Typhoon’’ Tyson who has coined the winner.

‘‘Duggie, the dynamic dasher from Dungog’’..unbeatable, and an eternal inspiration to any English student or aspiring cricketer.’’

Next, please.

Step up, Dame Betty Cuthbert and Dame Maureen Caird.

The golden girl from Ermington is not only the greatest female athlete to come out of the Parramatta district, but the world and the universe.

And then-teenager Caird was the greatest Seven Hills product since Mr Beans’s school and the greatest hurdler since the cow jumped over the moon.

It’s only appropriate that an ASTM (Australian Sporting team medal) should accompany the gongs, and awarded annually as well.

Again, the first recipients pick themselves.

First, there is the Parramatta third-grade rugby league team of 1964, the winner of the club’s first grand final and the greatest sporting team of all time.

And with the likes of Johnny Wicks, Jim Poulous, Peter Delaney, Ern Gillon, Gary McCalla, Peter Linde, Matt Johnson, Ron array of stars that may never be collected again.

Next up would be the inaugural Parramatta Eels first-grade premiership team of 1981, and with the likes of Grothe, Cronin, Ella, Kenny, Price, O’Reilly — a collection to rival the 1964 squad.

Rounding it out would be the inaugural Two Blues premiership team of 1977.

Forget Cathy Freeman at the 2000 Olympics.

  Has there ever been a greater sporting image than Rod Batterham’s smiling and holding the ball above his head as he ran to the tryline?

‘‘Ding dong, the witch is dead’’, as Jack Gibson Gibsoned in 1981.

If it was good enough for the English World Cup-winning rugby to get knighthoods, it’s only right that the infinitely greater Parramatta Two Blues to be recognised.

  Future knight-and-dame nominations will be welcome and Richie Benaud and Anne Sargeant’s time will come. 


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