PERSONAL TRIBUTE: Well played Flakey
Former Morning Bulletin journalist Steve Keating has written a personal tribute to highly regarded Rockhampton sporting identity Ian Flamank, who passed away last week aged 56.
THE Easts Cricket Club dominated Rockhampton cricket in the 1980s and into the 1990s.
Led by the wily Jock Carroll, the Tigers were formidable, but Jock's task was made easy because his XI included the most consistent opening bowler of that era - Ian "Flakey" Flamank.
There were many great Easts cricketers in that era - Doug Christie, Graeme Scott, Bill and Dan Philp, Phil Ilott, Kev Hogan, Paul Stenhouse, Graham Hedges, Jeff Jacobsen, Col White, Steve Munster, Greg Dobbin and Jock, to name a few, but the Tigers' cornerstone was a humble, likeable, right-arm quick, Flakey.
Flakey would get the new ball at one end and that might be it for the afternoon.
His 12th over was as quick as his first and, if need be, so too were the 20th and the 25th - often unchanged!
Jock seemed to show little mercy for his key striker - but he knew the more the bespectacled school teacher bowled, the better he got.
"Come on boy" was Jock's call, and Flakey always delivered.
His action was like a wound-up sling - a cross between Jeff Thomson and (a vertical) Lasith Malinga, the Sri Lankan slinger - lots of shoulder and lots of back.
His action off the field, celebrating with a coldie, was the same - reliable and consistent. Be it leading the singing of Eye of the Tiger or Rose Tattoo's We Can't be Beaten, Flakey was humbly centrestage - and teammates always seemed to gather around him.
As an opponent, being a Brothers Cricket Club life member, I know he was feared. As a teammate in Rocky rep and East touring teams of that time, he was revered - and still is!
He was a winner and he loved and respected cricket.
One Saturday in the 1989-90 season, Frenchville and Baralaba's Ian "Bluey" Belousoff went berserk against Easts on the old Rocky number two, scoring a staggering 100 - many of those massive blows coming off Flakey.
It was front page news. As an observer and the Bully's author of that piece, I well remember Flakey's role.
He might have been beaten that day, but even in defeat he stood and respectfully applauded as Bluey lofted six after six - some over the grandstand and onto the road.
"Too good, Bluey" was his warm retort, but all present knew that Flakey's next delivery, as always, was him giving all he had for the Tigers.
In life's journey we meet many great people - some of us were fortunate to have played with and against Flakey and we are all better people because of the encounters.
"Well bowled, mate."
Condolences to Tanya, Rebecca and Jessica, the Flamank family and also to all the Tigers.