Terry Finch lived his last day of life as he did at the crease - he just wanted to give it a go.
Faced with the decision of life threatening surgery after a fall left him with a fractured femur, doctors told 85-year-old Terry he may not make it through surgery. But in true Terry Finch style he told surgeons he wanted to give it a go.
Affectionately known as Birdman, the long time Maitland cop and cricket legend passed away surrounded by family on Monday. "Dad knew the risks but he wanted to give surgery a try - he said let's give it a go," said daughter Anne Maree Musgrove. "We all talked it through with him but his body just couldn't take it."
Terry had a number of chronic health conditions including type one diabetes which he was diagnosed with when he was 38.
Born in Maitland Hospital Terry grew up in Martins Creek. He went to Martins Creek Public School then Maitland Boys High.
"Dad was always fit and healthy, even with his diabetes, pretty much right through his life," Anne Maree said. "He was very active always playing cricket or lawn bowls. He gave up outdoor cricket at the age of 50 then took it back up again at 55 then started playing indoor with his police mates. He didn't give it up until he was well into his 60s."
An opening batsman Terry and his team mate Ron Allen hold the post WWII record for scoring the highest opening partnership of 248 with Easts in 1964. He topped the Maitland first grade batting aggregate three times and represented Maitland in the John Bull Shield as an opening batsman for many years. "Cricket was his life," his daughters said. "He loved all sports but cricket was his passion."
RIP: Terry Finch pictured at his 80th birthday.
Before joining the police force, Terry was an apprentice fitter and turner at Cardiff Workshops and moved to South Maitland Railways during the 55 flood where, as a 20-year-old, couldn't get home to Martins Creek and had to stay in Maitland to help clear railway lines of debris.
He later joined BHP working there for five years before joining the police force where he spent 29 years retiring as a senior constable. Terry's first post was at Mayfield before a move to Maitland PCYC where his role was to help kids who didn't have sporting opportunities. He later moved to Maitland general duties where he would co-ordinate costings for police intelligence operations.
Terry is survived by his four daughters, 11 grandchildren and 11 great grandchildren. He will be farewelled in St Peter's Church East Maitland on Thursday at 11am. Asked how their dad would like to be best remembered, Terry's daughters said just as everyone thought of him: "Top cop, top bloke."