Dave & Glyn Portrait

I can still remember the smell of my dad’s cricket bag, a combination of sweaty leather gloves, sunscreen and squashed PK chewing gum. It’s the smell of summer, the smell of cricket, the smell of my dad and the smell of my childhood.

It's my dad’s love of cricket that dominates my early childhood memories. Every Saturday arvo in the small country town in NSW where I grew up, my mum would take me and my two brothers to the local cricket ground where dad would be playing. Naturally, as a young boy, I idolised my dad. He quickly taught me everything he could about the game: rules, technique, sportsmanship, everything. My brothers and I were little models of my dad’s own style: left hand bat, right hand bowl.

My dad seemed to have so much time for us. Working full time as a teacher and playing his own club games, Dad still managed to find the time to coach my cricket team, umpire my games on the weekends and still put my brothers and I in our place in the front yard. Dad would know when we were getting ahead of ourselves and come out to bat using the handle, or even a stump, to club us around the street and I bet he still could.

Thinking about it now, Dad’s sporting influence on me meant I had the healthiest childhood possible, physically and mentally. Growing up in a tiny town with not much more than a river and a sporting field, I was never bored. Just give me any type of ball and I’ll be entertained. No money needed. No computers or TV, just pure, healthy fun.

School for me was a lot more about socialising than learning. I definitely wasn’t an A grade student and when I was heading into Year 10 Dad told me he was going to be the new Principal of my school. It’s hard to explain to somebody how I felt when I received this news. My dad was coming to my school and he was going to be my Principal. How would my friends react, how would the teachers now treat me, would my dad be really strict on me? It was the longest wait to the start of a school year ever.

I don’t know why I was ever worried. My dad was still my dad. Those last years of my schooling were the best ever. My friends, brothers and myself were so lucky to have our dad at school with us. He was our cricket coach, football manager and now he ran our school. There was no “Mr Leyshon” in the schoolyard, just “Leysho” or “Glyno”. He was such a good speaker at school he could write speeches for Obama. He wasn’t our boss, he was our mate. He wouldn’t confiscate the footy, he would kick it back.

As a teenager it’s sometimes hard to remain close to your Dad. Not mine. His presence in my life just seemed to grow. He was the best Principal ever.

There are a million stories I could tell about my dad. That’s just who he is. And anyone who has ever met him will agree he is the kindest, most gentle man. He is very level-headed and works hard for what he believes. He would do anything for his family and friends. And he never has a bad word to say about anyone.

It was his unselfishness and devotion to me, my mum and my brothers, that helped shape me into the person I am today. Although we don’t live close, our friendship couldn’t be closer. 

Cheers Glyno, you bloody legend.

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