PEOPLE like this don’t come around often.

Morwell Cricket Club celebrated a rare occurrence toward the end of the Cricket Latrobe Valley season, when veteran Marty Giddens brought up his 500th game for the club.

Giddens was essentially born into cricket and the Morwell Cricket Club, so it was inevitable that he would be involved one way or another.

“My dad was a past president for five years or so … he played since the 1960s, and obviously Craig, my brother, he played as well – he’s still playing at the moment,” Giddens said.

“I was basically born into the club, and we started playing when I was about nine. We played Under 16s, because we had no juniors.”

Naturally, Giddens would continue to develop rapidly, playing with kids up to five years older than him at the time he started out.

This led to Giddens winning the Junior Cricketer of the Year in two consecutive seasons in 1992/93 and 1993/94.

In the 1993/94 season, Giddens captained the Under 16s to a premiership, scoring 53 runs in the decider.

It was only a matter of time before he found himself playing senior grade cricket.

“When I was about 14, I started playing C Grade with dad, and as it progressed got further up into B Grade, then A Grade. So I’ve been playing for 36, 37 years,” he said.

Giddens ended up playing “17 or 18 years” of A Grade cricket for Morwell, starting in the late 1990s.

One of the biggest highlights of his career were the two A Grade premierships he won, in 1998/99 and 2002/03. But he also recognised a collective effort in the 2017/18 season, when Morwell’s A, B and C Grade all won premierships in the Central Gippsland Cricket Association.

Giddens was playing C Grade by then, but a club three-peat doesn’t come around often, if ever.

Giddens was given legend status when he was inducted as a Morwell Cricket Club Life Member last year.

When finding out he was playing his 500th game in February, Giddens felt humbled.

“I was actually surprised, I didn’t know until the Tuesday before the game and they said, ‘you’ve got 500 games this week’ and I thought ‘what?’”, he said.

“I’m very grateful, I was quite embarrassed actually, I thought ‘500 games, I’m getting too old!’”

Giddens joined an exclusive club of only one other person to play 500 games at Morwell Cricket Club, joining fellow club legend Mark Smith.

Throughout his career, at the time of playing his 500th game, he had scored more than 7500 runs with a high score of 115, to go with 21 half centuries. He is ranked sixth at Morwell Cricket Club for all-time runs.

He has been handy with the ball and in the field too, taking 209 wickets and 192 catches with a stumping.

He was B Grade captain for nine season and was the A Grade assistant coach and vice-captain earlier in his career.

Giddens has begun to develop the youth, coaching juniors for the last five seasons, and continues to be a leader, captaining C Grade.

As the owner of Silvers Bar and Grill, Morwell, Giddens has played a major part in the club’s seafood days, as his efforts in the kitchen prove to be a big part of fundraising efforts.

What has kept Giddens in the game for so long? Quite simple really.

“Just the mateship and the love for the game. Obviously, I was born into cricket so its one of those things, I just love it,” he said.

Now 46-years-old, Giddens hopes he still has something left in the tank. His son, Harley, is currently playing under 12s. Maybe one day they could line-up together.

You might be wondering how Morwell went in the Cricket Latrobe Valley finals.

Well, it’s fair to say that Giddens can add another premiership to his long list of accolades, after Morwell’s Premier C Grade took out the premiership, defeating CATS in the decider.

What a way to cap off such a memorable season.