STEPHEN Cairns’ time at the Bentley Cricket Club began in 1972, when he filled in for a mate.
The team was good, the club was nice and in 1973, he officially joined; 45 years later with 400 games and 6173 runs under his belt he is still there.
“I was just dragged down as a fill-in and then when the club got a third team I was thrust in as an opener and there I stayed until 2003,” Cairns said.
For many years, Cairns said the side was “always the bridesmaid, never the bride” losing out on finals glory but in 2000 and in his 300th game, Bentley Cricket Club won the grand final – a momentous moment for the club and Cairns.
“It was a great day, and a great time to celebrate 300 games,” he said.
Now 63 years old and the club’s third-oldest player, Cairns continues to fill in when needed, but still works hard behind the scenes, holding all positions in office and encouraging the club’s growth through welcoming younger members to carry on the legacy.
“The club is still going strong, with the sons of men who joined 20 years ago now joining. It’s just the sort of place that keeps you coming back,” he said.
“I have an 18-year-old son with a partial developmental delay and the boys treat him as an equal. I’m proud of the new generation.”
Cairns was named life member number 14 of the club in 1987 and named the Chuck Berry Clubman of the Year in 2016; achievements he could not have made alone.
“It’s not just a ‘me’ effort, there are always guys there and families who come through; I just like being around the club,” he said.
Cairns’ duty to the club |extends to his role as MC at the club’s Hall of Fame night on February 25.
Held at the Canning Sports Club from 7.30pm, with free entry, all past and present players are encouraged to attend.