IPSWICH Mayor Paul Pisasale doesn't usually worry about sharing the spotlight but he wasn't about to let Allan Langer dodge centre stage.
The mayor was at the microphone during Thursday's Broncos fan day at North Ipswich Reserve when he spied the diminutive Ipswich league legend, who was trying to maintain a low profile.
"I saw Alfie sitting way up the back of the grandstand reading the QT and I said to the crowd: 'There's Allan Langer everyone. He just told me he wants to see how many autographs he can sign today'," Pisasale said with wicked glee.
"Alfie spent the next 45 minutes signing autographs."
Jokes aside, Cr Pisasale said it was great to see the kids haven't forgotten about Ipswich's favourite sporting son, even after a decade out of the game.
Word is the famously good-natured Alfie never stopped smiling - even though it might have been through gritted teeth.
MUKESH Sharma has wasted no time making a strong impression in Ipswich cricket - at least with some.
The new Brothers recruit, who has played first-class cricket in India, eased his way into Ipswich cricket via reserve grade, taking six wickets and scoring 94 not out.
Next day, representing Ipswich in the Webb Shield, he cracked 98 in a losing cause and claimed 4-26 with the ball.
It still wasn't enough for Ipswich coach Craig Jesberg to have learned his name, however.
With cricket scorecards for last Saturday's Webb Shield clash showing only initials for first names, a journalist asked Jesberg what Sharma's first name was.
The initial response didn't match up with the M initial on the scorecard and Jesberg was at a loss.
He admitted it wasn't the first time he'd forgotten his name, having drawn a blank when going to thank Sharma in the sheds for his efforts.
WITH selection in the Australia World Series squad, Josh Roberts has achieved a long time ambition to play for his country.
Roberts has had three strong seasons with the Brisbane Bandits, which he captains, to force his name down selectors' throats.
For most of that time he has been near the top of the ABL batting lists.
Roberts sits ninth on the list of leading run-scorers for this season, but he is not one for keeping tabs on his stats.
"You can't change it so why worry about it" is Roberts' succinct philosophy.
Roberts' profile page on the Australian Baseball website is also revealing of his personality.
On it Roberts confesses his favourite place in the world is the Gold Coast, his pet hate is male softballers, the thing he would like people to know about baseball is it is better than cricket and he has too many bad habits to name.
WHEN Leah Neal was announced as Ipswich's Australia Day sports award winner, she wasn't there to collect her award.
Training hard in Brisbane ahead of a Swimming Australia training camp, starting this weekend on the Gold Coast with Australia's best swimmers, Neal had her mother Karen collect the award for her.
"I didn't think she'd win it," said Karen, who got a shock when she realised she'd been called upon to take the stage and accept it on Neal's behalf.
"I was gob smacked. My son went up to collect the award and Andrew Antoniolli called me up too. There were so many other sports stars there. It could have been any one of them."
Karen has been to several such awards nights but rated Monday's the best, and not just because her daughter won the main sports award.
"Last night was the best one they've ever done," she said.
THE Christmas recovery should be over (hopefully) so it is time to help out the deserving sports people of Ipswich.
At the Ipswich Family Fun Day race meeting at Bundamba tomorrow, three St Peter Claver College girls will be selling raffle tickets to fund overseas trips.
At the same race meeting, the Western Pride football team will be trying to raise money to help them get off the ground in their debut season in the Australian Premier League.
On Saturday, February 16, the Ipswich Invitational XI cricket team will be fundraising at the Ipswich Greyhound Track for their tour of India at the end of March.
If you can afford to lose $20 at the races, you can throw a couple of dollars their way.
It will ensure Ipswich's proud sports people continue to show the world what they're made of.
THE QT has set out to discover which of rugby league's forwards and backs is the more advanced species.
In a new online series imaginatively titled Forwards versus Backs, the QT will put one of each through a rigorous physical and mental examination each episode.
If episode one, featuring Kieron Lander and Jarrod McInally, is anything to judge by, it will be a fiercely fought battle to the end of the season.
Two Ipswich heavyweights going head to head for the Queensland title.
On March 1, Kyle Brumby will challenge Anthony Fowler for the Queensland heavyweight title at Richlands' Lions stadium.
On the undercard, QT journalist Jay Buchan is putting his life on the line in an exhibition bout.
Only problem is he needs an evenly-matched opponent.
That is - someone under 80kg with no boxing experience.
Anyone interested, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
There is also a rumour Northsiders teammates Aaron Nugter and Kev Cumming may fight each other on the undercard.
Your Turn: If you have any sports gossip or quirky pics, email Phantom at: email@example.com.
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