The Roaring Spoggy: Local cricket legend remembers
The Adelaide Turf Cricket Association’s top wicket-taker ended his 40-year career with 1,217 scalps. He died on May 7 at the age of 81.
But Aiston’s great legacy will live on, especially among the followers of his beloved Flinders Park Cricket Club.
The left arm swing thrower’s exploits for the West Suburb club included a three-season spell from 1971 to 1974 when he won an incredible 322 wickets (91, 117, 114).
To put it in context, wicket taker A1 Adelaide Turf, leader last season, captured just 29 wickets.
Aiston’s incredible three-year run featured single end numbers of 10/18 and 8/0 on a day Payneham was knocked out for just 5. Both spells featured hat tricks.
Nicknamed “Spoggy” due to his small stature growing up, Aiston had a brief stint at Clarence Park Cricket Club before making his debut for Flinders Park in 1971 shortly after buying a house in the suburbs.
Aiston played district cricket for Woodville, making his A-Grade debut at the age of 35 in 1974/75.
He also ran the Woodville South Cricket Club as premier in 1978-1979.
First pitcher, Aiston was known by moonlight as an orthodox left-arm spinner, often returning to the bowling alley late in the day to clear the tail.
Aiston met his wife Helen when he worked at Myer as a young man and also played on the company’s cricket team.
After the first seasons to cover and beat at No.7, his dominance in the field grew to the point that when he moved on to another job Monday through Friday, Myer employed him to work an hour a week on Saturday morning. he could continue to play alongside the company.
Born in Tailem Bend, Aiston began working at the Holden Woodville factory as a clerk in 1962 and rose through the ranks steadily.
When the factory was transferred to Elizabeth in 1989, Aiston was foreman of the press shop.
Such was his popularity among the staff, he was said to be the only supervisor at the Woodville plant regularly invited to play cards with the workers upstairs.
A practical lower level batsman, Spoggy returned to Flinders Park in the 1980s where he played for a team for over 40 years and was an excellent coach and mentor to many young western suburban cricketers.
In his last season as a player in 1996/97, Aiston played several games for the Flinders Park C-level team, led by his son Steven.
Aiston became a top referee for the Adelaide Turf Cricket Association in the late 1990s.
He also played football for Flinders Park and served as club president, reserve coach and director of football.
Earlier in his football career, Spoggy was a founding player of Seaton Ramblers in 1958 and is a life member of the club. He also coached Westminster Old Scholars from 1970 to 1972, helping the new Amateur League club move from A4 to A3.
Aiston and his wife Helen married in 1965 and lived in Flinders Park for over 40 years, raising their children Steven and Linda there.
Helen died in 2015 after a long battle with cancer.
Aiston is survived by Steven, Linda and her grandchildren Cheyenne, Dylan, Nicole and Katherine.
His life was celebrated Friday at Harrison’s funeral in Queenstown.
Aiston taught the author how to play left arm bowl at Flinders Park Elementary School in the 1980s.
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