The 25th anniversary of one of Australian sports’ greatest moments is almost upon us, and still one of the key players in the incident continues to be ignored by the Aussie public.
‘Fatty’s Catch’ is as iconic a moment as there is in our sporting folklore, but ask your average punter who the bowler was and they’ll have no idea.
But one sports historian believes the credit for the wicket should belong to Fatty’s old Maroons teammate Allan Langer, who sent down the rank full toss that dismissed Wallabies legend Tim Horan.
‘Nobody ever calls it ‘Alfie’s Wicket’, do they?’ said cricket expert Jack Harper, who claims to be the world’s leading authority on the 1993 Allan Border Testimonial Match.
‘What people forget is that Alfie was in the middle of a brilliant spell of spin bowling and the batsman fell right into the trap he had been preparing,’ he claims.
‘The batsman couldn’t even tell if he was bowling off-spin or leg-spin, largely due to the series of arm balls and full tosses he sent down, which completely bamboozled the opposition,’
Harper believes the blame for the injustice lies largely with Billy Birmingham, aka ‘The 12th Man’, who immortalised the moment on his ‘Wired World of Sports II’ album.
‘There is not even a mention of Langer on the recording – it’s all about Vautin and this is the version of events most people remember.’
He also claimed that Steve Rixon deserved more credit for his role in Zoe Goss’s dismissal of Brian Lara in the following year’s Don Bradman Testimonial.
‘Sure it was a good delivery, but Rixon caught and stumped Lara on the same delivery – how often do you see that? For a 40 year-old keeper to have those kind of reflexes is phenomenal,’ he said.
While Harper continues his efforts to get more recognition for both Langer and Rixon, the response from the public has so far been mainly focused on something else.
‘Man, those games were an absolute blast – they need to bring those back,’ said one punter, summing the feelings of the entire nation.
‘Besides, the way our one-day team’s been going lately they could also use them as selection trials,’