10 June 2023

Region Riverina vs cricket legend Mark 'Tubby' Taylor

| Glenn Pallister
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Mark Taylor

Mark Taylor is one of the Riverina’s favourite sons. Photo: Supplied.

Mark Taylor is a former Australian cricketer and commentator. As the image above details, he captained the Australian team in many Tests and one-day international games.

Tubby was a gritty, no-nonsense captain, who could control Warney! That makes him a legend and definitely in our ‘Top 50 Aussies to Have a Beer With’ list. He’s got an oval named after him at Wagga’s Bolton Park and he loves his NRL too!

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What’s your connection to the Region? When was your last visit?

I was born in Leeton and moved to Dareton, West Wyalong and eventually to Wagga, where I spent seven years. Since leaving Wagga in 1978 I have returned on a number of occasions but more infrequently as my family are no longer in the area.

Favourite part of the region?

I’d have to say Wagga is my favourite town in the Riverina as I spent seven years there attending South Wagga Primary School and Mount Austin High School. I also began my cricketing journey in Wagga and thank Lake Albert Cricket Club for giving me my start.

What was your best food experience?
I always enjoyed a meat pie and milkshake as a young kid in Wagga. No particular venue was needed, just a good hot meat pie and sauce and a chocolate milkshake!

What’s a “must-do” when in the region?
A “must-do” for me when I lived in the Riverina was to play sport. Not necessarily cricket but any sport. It was the way my parents and my two sisters and I met many different people and forged many great friendships.

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Drive or fly?
Generally drive from Sydney back to the Riverina as the road is very good these days. Back in the 70s it took us the best part of eight hours to drive from Wagga to Bondi Beach at Christmastime for our annual family holiday. It was a painful drive but worth the effort!

What are your three go-to songs on the road trip to the region?
Dire Straits – Telegraph Road (live version). Any song from Cold Chisel and The Police.

Name one person you would not want in the passenger seat for the drive?
I’d have to say, Merv Hughes. He would be bugging me all the way!

Name anyone dead or alive you would want in the passenger seat for the drive?
Anyone who loves their sport and is prepared to share the driving. Nice to have a break occasionally.

Do you bring your own pillows?
Yes, I do occasionally take my own pillow on a road trip but it’s not essential as generally I’m a good sleeper.

Why should someone who hasn’t visited here make the trip?
The people of the Riverina are always friendly and there is plenty of things to do and see. It’s also a large and diverse area with a range of different activities to fill your day.

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