"District cricket's ""Methuselah"" from 1965 to 1995, Scholes also batted attractively for Victoria during the 70s, despite being 12th Man a record 21 times. No player has played more VCA 1st XI matches than Scholes, and only Gary Watts has scored more runs than Scholes, who also played VFL football for North Melbourne and found time to be a Victorian Selector and coach for several seasons.
For Carlton, Scholes won the club batting average ten times (the same number as Bert Numa and two short of Tommy Warne's record of 12) and was Club Champion on five occasions. He played in a record (shared with Blackie, Ironmonger and Ponsford) 9 VCA Finals for 5 premierships - 4 with Carlton and 1 with Fitzroy Doncaster, scoring an amazing 620 runs @ 77.50 in these matches.
Following his untimely death in July 2003, Cricket Victoria announced that the Player of the Premier Final in future will receive the 'John Scholes Medal'.
The following tribute, written by John Scholes' daughter Shannen, appeared in Carlton Cricket Club's Annual Report for 2003/04, and is reproduced here with the Club's permission:
WALTER JOHN SCHOLES
John Scholes was a Victorian sporting legend and was very special to all those who had the privilege of knowing him. His character, understanding nature, patience and worldly advice helped many people inside and outside sport. He touched the lives of thousands of people, which was demonstrated by the number who paid tribute to him. John was always happy to stop for a chat and to listen to the problems of anyone from a sporting hero to an office cleaner, and to try to help as best he could. In his eyes, no one was better than anyone else; everyone was equal. That is why he had the utmost respect of all. He was the ultimate people person.
John was born in January 1950 to Jack and Myrtle (both now dead) on the floor of their East Brunswick home. He lived there for several years with sisters Wendy and Faye and brother Bobby (now dead). John went to Brunswick Boys High School, where his incredible sporting career began.
John was a cricket addict from the age of nine. It's not surprising that the short bowlegged all-rounder with the cheeky grin had a brilliant run in school cricket. He began playing cricket for Carlton at the age of 11 and made his debut in the firsts in 1965. He had the highest batting average 10 times and was club champion five times. The country learned of his brilliance when John led the Victorian under-15s to victory in a Sydney carnival, chalking up 2 centuries. He topped that by scoring 100 and picking up 10 wickets in a game, becoming the only schoolboy in Australian cricket to have achieved the feat. He continued to be absolutely outstanding in every aspect of the game and in his life.
John started work at the age of 16 at Clive Fairbairn's sports store in the city. At 17, he was playing league football for North Melbourne in winter and cricket for Carlton in summer. Fast-tracked to bigger things, John Scholes made his first- class cricket debut for Victoria in the 1968-69 season, aged 18. Just three years later, he captained the team, becoming one of the youngest players to do so. He made 62 first-class appearances, accumulating 3201 runs. He eventually had to bow out in '81-'82 because of crippling pain in his hip, caused by arthritis. He received a full hip replacement and was told by specialists his career was over. But his sheer guts and determination allowed him to pass Jack Ryder's long-standing record of 338 matches and 12,667 runs. After his retirement he achieved much success as a coach, leading the Victorian Bushrangers to the Mercantile Mutual Cup in 1998-1999 and to consecutive shield finals in 1999-2001. His resignation in 2001 was a shock to many, but his family needed him so there was never any doubt in his mind which way he should go.
His standards earned him admiration and respect. During his sporting career, John captained Carlton for nine seasons, winning four premierships. He then went on to captain/coach Fitzroy Doncaster, leading it to one premiership. He returned to Carlton in 2002, gaining great enjoyment from coaching children. They were very special to him and they idolised him. Though sporting commitments made John's life very hectic, his family was number one. Wife Dianne, son Adam, daughter Shannen and treasured dogs were the most valued things in his life.
John Scholes did have an amazing sporting career, but it was him as a person that will be so deeply missed. He was an incredible husband, father, grandfather, brother and friend. The death of John, a true legend, has left an incredible hole in many people's lives that can never be filled. He is survived by wife Dianne, son Adam, daughter Shannen, sisters Wendy and Faye, and nieces and nephews.