Gary Bridge, (far right)Tenth Life Member of the Shoalhaven Ex-Servicemen's Cricket Club, conferred1998
After playing his early cricket with the Nowra club, Gary Bridge was 21 years of age when he joined Ex-Servicemen in 1981-82. He spent most of that season in second grade, but given his chance in firsts, he became a virtual fixture there until the end of 2000-01.
A top order batsman, he valued his wicket and was extremely hard to dislodge. His intent was always to give his team a solid start, and this was appreciated by his team-mates.
Gary was vice-captain of the 1988-89 premiership side, and he appeared in another five grand finals. He captained the team for several seasons during the 1990s.During the summer of 1998-99 Gary became only the second player to make 200 first grade appearances with the club, and at the end of season function he was honoured with life membership.
He retired after 228 matches from which he had scored 3297 runs which then placed him third on the all-time list, and of his five half-centuries, the highest was 69. A specialist close-in fielder, he took 97 catches, and few non-wicketkeepers have matched this figure.
Gary served the club as a committee member, and supported its many activities. Having been a representative player at different times, his knowledge of the players and competition was recognised by the association which appointed him as a selector for several seasons.