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Title: ... p80 - Memories of David Gillespie by David Gawthrop

I played rugby league at the local level during my teenage years from the mid 80's to 1990. I'm not sure when I first noticed 'Cement' but the lightbulb went off that If I could tackle like him - I could really enjoy the game. I started taping every game on telly that 'Cement' played in - whether club, origin or test level and watched his form and copied his style. I have no doubts that my 'best forward' trophy for the Wagga Wagga Brother's U17 side in 1990 was wholeheartedly because of my devotion to trying my best to clone David Gillespies tackling style - I still say there was no better tackler for his era and arguably one of the best tacklers in the game ever. I also got his autograph in 1988 after the Bulldogs beat the Raiders down in Canberra. Cement had a ripper game that day, and just getting to stand next to him and exchange a few words was a real highlight for me as a young fella.
In about 2004 I was at a fundraiser and Bradley Clyde was a guest speaker and he fielded some questions from the guests. I asked him who was the hardest player he ever had to tackle (big Mal Meninga) and which player did he most disliked getting tackled by - his answer 'David Gillespie'.
In 2007 - I bumped into Paul Dunn down in Adelaide and we hit it off (he's a real nice bloke) and ended up having a few beers later at an industry function we were both attending. He was telling me a story about playing junior rep footy and going up against David Gillespie in one match and getting tackled for the first time by him. He said he remembers getting up slowly - rasping for breath - and thinking 'what the hell just hit me'!

p80 - Memories of David Gillespie by David Gawthrop

Appears in the following pages ....P80_David GILLESPIE
Date of posting ... 01-Oct-2009
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