Six more greats of South Australian football and cricket are to be honoured in bronze at the Adelaide Oval, thanks to the generosity of businessman and philanthropist Basil Sellers AM.
The six sculptures will join the existing life-sized depictions of Darren Lehmann and Jason Gillespie at locations around the Oval’s environs over the next three years.
The greats to be honoured are (in alphabetical order):
- Malcolm Blight
- Russell Ebert
- Ken Farmer
- Barrie Robran
- George Giffen
- Jason Gillespie (existing)
- Clem Hill
- Darren Lehmann (existing)
Mr Sellers, who spent much of his early life in Adelaide, is one of Australia’s most highly respected art and sport patrons. Among his philanthropic activities, he is the benefactor of the Basil Sellers Art Prize and the Basil Sellers Sports Sculpture Project of ten sculptures at the Sydney Cricket Ground.
“I have a love for art and sport, which are two great parts of our Australian culture, and I also have a love of the Adelaide Oval,” Mr Sellers said.
“I felt it was important with the redevelopment of the Oval that I give something back to my home town and I wanted to do so in a way that could be experienced by many in an open setting – rather than paintings hanging on a wall in a boardroom somewhere.
“It is my hope that people will be able to admire and enjoy these sculptures for generations.”
The criteria for selection was relatively simple – all had to be South Australian cricket or football champions who had played at the Adelaide Oval.
“We are incredibly grateful that Basil is continuing to enable us to honour some of our State’s most famous cricket identities in this way,” SACA President Ian McLachlan AO said.
“He has long been a friend of the Adelaide Oval and we are delighted that his generosity will bring the achievements of these players to a whole new audience.”
The sculptures will be unveiled on an individual basis, with their order and location remaining a tightly-held secret.
“I know I speak for all South Australian football fans when I say that we are delighted Basil has chosen to honour four of the greats of the game in this way,” SA Football Commission Chairman John Olsen AO said.
“His gift to the people of South Australia will ensure that these legends will be honoured for all time at the Adelaide Oval, as will his generosity.”
Sculptor Ken Martin, who created both the Lehmann and Gillespie sculptures, has again been commissioned; however other artists are also being considered for the remaining sculptures.