Lord Stuey was like an unromantic, and grumpy version of Mr Darcy from Pride and Prejudice.
Unfortunately for him he walked into a dressing room that was more Mad Max than Jane Austen.
He was never ever going to fit in, some will say he didn’t have to.
They could be right, 200 wickets @ 28 with a titillating strike rate should have been enough.
But the Australian public has an image of it’s cricketers, and Stuey MacGill was not it.
The fact a born and bred Australian could be thought of as less Australian than a West Indian dread locked Pommy born player is amazing.
Stuey is Australian, but he just aint the Australian that most people automatically think of.
He was too educated.
Quiet when he should be loud, and loud when he should be quiet.
He sledged his team mates more than he sledged the opposition.
He was sulky.
Too sure of himself.
Wanted to distance himself from the sport that made him.
Took political stands.
Hated Murdoch papers.
Got excited in odd moments.
Bowled too many bad balls.
Had an air that alienated sports fans.
Sometimes he looked angrier getting a wicket than he did getting hit for four.
His long sleeves and correctly annunciated words were of another era, and another country.
The average Australian cricket fan thought he was a wanker.
He wasn’t the sort of bloke you’d have a beer with, want your sister dating, could visit port phillip island with.
Stuey was more the kind you’d expect behind the lectern giving a speech on Political Science.
Australian cricket is not the place for a man like him, and it showed throughout his whole career.
He had the anger, the hunger and the skill to play for Australia, but he just did it differently.
At his best he was in the top 3 leg spinners in the world.
At his worst he was uglier than a Chernobyl reunion.
He imparted amazing spin on the ball.
When he took wickets, he took bag fulls.
But he was erratic, he was difficult and he could lose the plot like few before him.
His failures were extravagantly wonderful, including bowling the West Indies to a record 4th innings run chase.
Team mates, the media and fans couldn’t work him out, the fact that Brad Hogg, a man with 1/80th the skills level was more well liked tells a great picture.
He was Lord Stuey, the man with the golden hands.
Part old world spinner, part new world intellectual.
A man who enjoyed a sip of merlot to a skull of xxxx.
A man who refused to fit in.
A man who very rarely bored you.
You may have loved him.
You may have hated him.
But how many people had no opinion on him at all?
Stuey, it has been a pleasure to bag you, worship you, laugh at you, laugh with you and watch you.
You have earned your place in the Leg Spinning Val Halla.