Vale Ron Scheele

Tribute posted to Manningham CC Facebook Page

Manningham Cricket Club had some very sad news over the weekend, with the passing of who many consider the club’s greatest ever player, Ron Scheele.

For those that are not aware Manningham CC was formed through the amalgamation of the Doncaster Uniting CCC and Eastern Districts SACC – Ron was significant in the forming of the Doncaster side and its superstar player in its first decade.

In the 20th anniversary book of the Doncaster Uniting CCC, life member and fellow legend Bill Marsh described Ron as:
Probably the greatest individual player ever at the club. Member of the original team and of both ‘A’ Grade premiership teams. Fast medium right-hand bowler who can cut the ball viciously both ways.

Over the first ten years of Doncaster Uniting CCC Ron won the 1st XI bowling trophy nine times. The only time he did not win it was when the club could only field one team and elected to keep its C1 grade team and not its A grade team. The association ruled that Ron and Kevin Noy were not allowed to play in that low a grade (they went and played one season elsewhere until the club went back into a higher grade the next year).
In the second season of Doncaster Uniting CCC Ron was to bowl the 1st XI to an amazing A Grade premiership. After trailing on the first innings, we won outright as Ron took 3-17 and 7-27 against Highfield. This was part of a 52-wicket season that is still an equal club record for any grade (equalled by another Ron, Downes, in the 2nd XI in 2000-01). It was described in the 20th anniversary book as:

Highfield were elated with their first innings lead but did not count on Ron Scheele turning in one of his greatest bowling efforts in the second innings. They were to a man of the opinion they could counter Ron by batting down the wicket in order to break his line and length. However, Ron countered by calling his keeper on to the stumps irrespective of the fear of possible byes thus anchoring the back foot of all batsmen. The dual effort of bowler and keeper resulted in Ron taking 7 wickets for 27 runs.

We went back-to-back the following year with Ron taking another 51 wickets and a tailend batting effort to help beat Highfield again. He had spearheaded an amazing three years where the club had formed, been promoted to A Grade after one season, then won back-to-back A Grade premierships (along with a 2nd XI flag too!). His contribution? 150 wickets!
Ron sits seventh on the all-time list of wicket takers at Manningham with 370 wickets at an average of 11.5, but this was in only 98 games.  It also does not tell the story of his career pre- Doncaster UCCC where he took more than 600 wickets at East Kew Methodist CC before they folded. Through his entire cricket career he took 1024 wickets at an average of 12.6 runs per wicket.

Manningham CC and Cricket Victoria Life Member Kevin Noy was his teammate when the club started:
Ron was an opening bowler who used his great skill to swing and cut the ball in both directions to take wickets over many seasons at an exceptional economy rate and average. His main attribute was to outthink batters and he took great delight in bamboozling the finest players of his time just when they thought they had worked him out. I never saw a player handle him with certainty and yet Ron’s demeanour was always calm and respectful usually ending with a satisfied smile as the batter departed. A great bowler and representative of our club.

Fellow Manningham CC life member Ian Oxley played with Ron at both East Kew and Doncaster:
I played cricket with Ron at East Kew Meths before we both went to Doncaster Uniting. Ron was an amazing bowler who could swing the ball and cut it prodigiously both ways. His biggest wicket takers were his cutters which he bowled with his middle finger behind the ball, Jack Iverson-style, flicking it one way or the other, a style he practiced early with a tennis ball down his sideway. His most dangerous ball was his off cutter which looked for all the world like a leg cutter action. I lost count of the number of batters who shouldered arms only to see the ball cut back severely and shatter their stumps.

Ron finished his 1st XI career at Doncaster Uniting CCC in 1980, though he was to come back occasionally to play in the lower grades through the 80s when his son Malcolm was playing some senior cricket.

In 2011 Ron was an obvious choice in Manningham’s team of the 1970s, and earlier he was named in Doncaster Uniting CCC’s 20th anniversary team. But perhaps his greatest honour was being named in the ESCDCA Team of the 20th century – a huge honour for Ron but also for the club to have a representative in this prestigious team.

The 1st XI bowing trophy at Doncaster Uniting CCC was named after Ron, later this practice was adopted by Manningham CC.

Everyone at Manningham CC is saddened by Ron’s passing, just as we were by the recent passing of Ron’s contemporaries and teammates Geoff Webb, Dennis Wilson, Geoff Minster and George Beaumont, and we offer our condolences to Ron’s family, friends, and teammates.

Ron’s cricket achievements (as with Dennis, George and the two Geoff’s) will live on as we soon open our new clubrooms where those records will be displayed prominently, permanently, and proudly.

Vale Ron Scheele 1939-2021

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