I first met Roland Davies playing U12’s cricket in Darwin. I was playing batting at the time playing for PINTS and Roland was the wicket keeper for Darwin Cricket Club.
He didn’t keep quite.
“Go on, this bowlers rubbish, smash him out of the park”
…. and more and more of the same. He managed to convince a few of my team mates as they attempted just that either to be stumped of caught… very clever ploy Mr Davies.
Over the next two years we played in the same representative team (Darwin) and we played in the NT Championships in Alice Springs and Gove. On the second trip to Gove we both made the NT Primary Schools side managed by Russ Marlborough along with a series of other team mates who would go on to become long time friends.
The team was made up from
- Roland Davies
Aaron Shattock (shatz)
Matthew Whealan (Wheels)
and a number of other players.
Both Shatz and Wheels went on to become close friends with Rol’s
– Juice Crew friends with Clint
– Speaking with David King he talked about how scared Roland was to head out to open in the first games while playing rep cricket. Eventually he just said
and manned up to the challenge. Following on from that was yet another call up to the All Australian side.
– He was one of the brightest men on the planet, and in the days of the pub quizes in Darwin he was quick to point out that fact time and time again. As bright accademically as he was there are litterally hundreds of incidents throughout his life that contradict this.
– Driving back from Cricket training with Jess giving us a lift. He was busting to go to the toilet but thought that Jess would leave him on the side of the road, so instead proceeded to wind down the window and try take a wizz out the window. Jess hit the brakes and roland ended up wearing much of the urine before we set off again.
– I remember staying over with Roland, a man that could never see past about 9pm even on the weekend as we were growing up. Thankfully Jess is one of those awesome people who didn’t care I was Rolly’s friend and we stayed up to the wee hours eating popcorn and watching the late show. This really bugged Rols and they used to fight with Jess teasing him that I really stay over to hang out with her instead.
At 15, and looking about 12, we were in Melbourne playing in the U/17’s Australian Championships. We played against the likes of Michael Klinger and Marcus North: but it was other events on tour that really stood out. On a trip to the zoo Roland became over excited and offended a school group as we walked past the monkeys cage exclaiming
“He’s wanking…. the monkey is wanking off”
Later that tour Roland would head off with a few of the older lads in the Squad to “The Shaft” which was the only strip club in Melbourne that would let them through the doors. He was devastated when Cherry took off his brand new hat he had got for Christmas to use as a prop for part of her show.
I remember Roland at St Johns being kept after class one day because of his classroom antics. Not realising what he had exactly done wrong he assumed it was because this particular teacher, Ms Marny, was actually attracted to him and wanted to spend some time alone with him. He actually said
“I know why you wanted me to stay behind. It’s because you want me don’t you.”
I thought he was stretching the truth a bit until I joined him in the office to officially apologise to the teacher in question with the headmaster there also. At this point Roland begun to develop a reputation of telling a story… and for those of you that knew him well would have heard the same story told a few times…. each time the fish getting a bit longer. Knowing this Roland and I struck up a deal: he would always tell me the actual truth and I promised to never call him out during the elaboration of a story.
When Roland moved to Queensland we still kept in touch and I tried to visit as often as I could, usually once or twice a year. It was during this time that he was finishing off University, for the first time with his Law degree, while also introducing me to the Paddo Hotel. At the time he lived on Given Terrece above a Flight Center about 100 meters from the Paddo with Chris Picton. Pico had hundreds of hours worth of stories where Roland had gone off the rails and done something stupid. Roland’s favourite story was the one and only story he had on Chris over a 5 year period of living with him. After an afternoon of playing beach volleyball in the sun and swapping out water in favour of $2 Smirnoff Vodkas we were refused entry back into Paddo 10 hours later. We all retreated back to the apartment when Pico began throwing the contents of the vegetable chrisper down the road at the rather large and angry samoan bouncer.
One of his favourite stories
At this point Roland and I knew we were going to be lifetime friends.
I find it hard to believe that at just 35 years old I can look Roland and say that we’ve been friends for 25 years. That’s a long time to know someone, to share an lifetimes worth of experiences. I love my wife and know her very well yet I’ve only known her for 8 years. Roland I have known for 3 times longer.
Although we knew that we’d be best friends forever… brothers from different Mothers and Fathers… neither of us ever knew that our life time of friendship would be cut short just a few days ago.
When I first arrived in London in September of 2007 it was Roland that took me into his home. The first thing we did was go out for a beer down the road in Colliers Wood.
20th July 2010
I hope you are well. I set a new record last weekend and managed to lose a mobile phone on two consecutive nights. I am now on first name basis with the staff at the local vodafone shop. Can you please email me your phone numbers.