By Casey O'Connor
On Monday came news that Queensland cricket had lost one of its best ever – the original Salmmin’ Sam – Sam Trimble who passed away aged 84 years young.
The veteran opener has been remembered as the only player selected in Queensland Cricket’s “Team of the 20th Century” who never played Test cricket.
Trimble was named 12th man for the first Test against the West Indies in Jamaica in 1965 and captained an Australia Second XI to New Zealand in 1969, making a double century.
Trimble played in an era when Queenslanders were a little on the nose with southern selectors. Adding to his predicament the incumbent Australian openers had just a little bit of talent- Bill Lawry and Bob Simpson. Bit hard to break up that partnership.
Trimble who played for Queensland until he was 41 had an impressive record for Queensland. 9465 runs at 40.80 from 133 games – a record eclipsed year’s later by Stuart Law and Martin Love.
Sam looked certain on several occasions to win that elusive Sheffield Shield for Queensland and although that honour eluded him there was none prouder when Queensland finally hoisted the Shield at the end of the 1994/95 season.
Trimble although born in Booyong near Lismore, Northern NSW, was looked upon as a true Queensland and remained a steadfast supporter of cricket in this state in his post-playing days. He was a coach; senior selector; mentor, curator at South’s and a delegate and life member who retained a keen interest in Queensland Cricket.
Trimble’s coaching camps at the Gabba, which continued for decades after his retirement, were legendary and innovative. He helped to mould future stars and including a chubby nine-year from Kingaroy, Matt Hayden.
I had the pleasure of knowing Sam and fondly recall one his trips to Stanthorpe as a member of a visiting Brisbane cricket side. After a long day of cricket Sam accepted an invitation to the Summit Bowls Club cabaret. Sam never forgot his night at the Summit. He had a ball, terrorised the cabaret and although the details may have been a bit hazy, he never forgot what a great night he had at the Summit.
In recent years, I have been privileged to watch many a summer Test in his company and I know he will be sorely missed by many including members of the Brisbane Wanderers Cricket Club.
Cricket has lost another of its special characters – gone to that big Oval in the sky.