It is with great sadness that we report the passing of one of the best blokes to every wear the purple and gold, Kevin “Stainless’ Steele.
Kevin died suddenly on Saturday of a heart attack at the age of 71.
Kevin was a Nuna legend loved by all those who were lucky enough to spend any length of time with him. A mad Demons supporter, cricket was his summer passion and he joined Nuna in 1970, playing 148 games until he retired from playing in 1989. As a bowler who batted, Kev excelled in both and took 300 wickets for Nuna at under 17. He also made over 4,000 runs and which included four 50’s and a most memorable 148 n.o. in the 1978-79 5th XI Grand Final to guide a team of teenagers to a premiership that season.
Kev played a lot of cricket at Richmond Central before joining Nuna with blokes like Ray McBlane and Alan Jackson, also both now sadly deceased, and he made an effort to maintain those friendships over the years. He was made a Life Member at Nuna in 1986 but it could be said that his contributions to the Club after that date equalled or surpassed those of before.
However, it was Kev’s selflessness that endured him to all of us who knew him well. Stainless was a very humble man and it was never about him, he always enjoyed the achievements of others rather than his own. He was the first one to help on countless occasions and was a key part of so many key milestones in the Club’s history, such as: the move to Mahoneys Reserve, the building of the social rooms and a couple of renovations years later, the N&N Raffle that funded the club for so many years, countless social functions and the rebuilding of the juniors 4-5 years ago.
His warmth, friendliness, sense of humour and sense of putting others first were his most enduring characteristics. As a captain, Kev loved to work with the young blokes and volunteered to run teams with recently graduated juniors where he acted as mentor and father figure to the young blokes. One of the best things about Kev as a captain was that he would always give the young blokes a go and would generally bowl and bat himself, after every one else had a turn.
Kev earned the Best Clubman Award 15 years after he finished playing, as recognition for the tireless hours spent supporting the club off the field. These efforts included leading a group of guys who renovated the kitchen, coaching Junior Teams and as Junior Development Coach.
Kev was never short of a word and had a great habit of turning short stories into long ones. He would dissect all the details and provide all of us willing to listen for long enough with the full details that only he knew….or was interested in ! Check out the essay below written by Kev in 2008 as he took an inordinate amount of time explaining to all how ‘The Log’ was named.
So it is with great sadness that we say goodbye to Kev, the club will never be the same without him.
– David Cowell
Kev and his beloved Dee’s jumper at the Sportsmans Night last season Kev in the 1978-79 Premiership team
Newsletters: what’s in a name?
For those who don’t know, and there would be many such members in 2008/9, at one stage in the 1980s we at Nunawading CC had eight Senior teams and 8/9 Junior teams, and felt we might just be the biggest Cricket Club in the world!! And boy-oh-boy, was there plenty of work to do to service all those teams! But all the necessary work and organising kept us welded together, and lifetime friendships were born in those golden years, still highly visible today.
And so, to the main point of this essay:
As sporting clubs expand, so also does the need to keep the members informed on the playing, social, and admin sides, and my recollection is that the Club’s first informing “document” (that I saw, anyway) was in the early 70s and titled “From the Log” (not “The Log”, mind). The name, I reckoned, implied that its author might have been a bit of a “log” (you know, like “you b….y great log!”), so I asked around a bit. Nunawading Council in those days didn’t have much of a budget for equipping sports grounds with nice seating for casual or regular watchers (there were never going to be thousands of those, after all), but it did have access to failed timber Power Poles, which were long, and could be long-lasting whilst difficult to steal or wreck. So it laid a number of these in strategic spots at the Silver Grove ground, and provided instant seating for 10/20/30 or even more, spectators! From these, our supporters would watch games, advise opposing captains to “put ‘im on both ends!”, advise fielders to “get a bag!” in certain circumstances, hatch plots, plan devious events, and report to each other on the progress of away matches and whether our new bloke from Manangatang could bowl, or bat, or catch, or anything at all!!
It therefore followed that the information gathered about games, incidents, player performances, barbeques, upcoming functions, and so on, was generally circulated “From the Log” upon which those who were at the heart of all this information sat, sometimes for fleeting visits on game-day, but sometimes for entire afternoons! Y’know; “Did you hear that Crespy’s retired for now?”…….. “Where’d you hear that, mate?”………… “I got it from the log”. It didn’t require a great leap of faith to eventually title the Club’s Official Organ (pardon?) “From the Log”.
Of course, when this happened the newsletter had to “stick to its knitting”, so personal opinions on certain players’ capabilities were no longer needed (but they might still have been quietly voiced!) from the “Loggers”, as they came to be known. The “Loggers” became the collective title given to our past players and supporters. (If you need me to explain how that group got it’s name, well then you won’t have been able to read this far, so please give up about three paragraphs ago!!
These days I perceive that NCC’s Newsletter is simply titled “The Log”, and I find no fault with that. I just wanted the next 200 players to have an idea where the original name concept seems to have come from. Others will have slightly different recollections of the time and events that I’ve described, but I think that my still-functioning mind has it fairly right. (Kevin Steele, …. 1973-1989, ….. 148 games) July 2008.