“Leave our flies alone Jardine, they’re the only friends you’ve got here!“.
One of the famous cries from the man who could be Australia’s first documented sporting heckler, Yabba. It was directed at Douglas Jardine, the English captain during the spiteful “Bodyline” series of 1932/33.
Stephen Harold Gascoigne was born in 1878, and held his particular spot in Sydney Cricket Grounds famous ‘Hill’ area.
There was no slow-clap, random whistles or Mexican Wave from the crowd, and Yabba’s sledging could be heard by everyone.
There is a great tribute to the character that was Yabba at the SCG Trust website.
This sculpture of Yabba was unveiled in 2008, and can be found in his usual spot at every game at the SCG. He was made by local artist Cathy Weiszmann, who also created the Dally Messenger sculpture in neighbouring Allianz Arena.
In the meantime, calls like “Send ‘I’m down a piano, see if ‘e can play that” will remain timeless.