Departed pair legends in and out of their sport

DURING the week, two legends of sport passed away - golf's Arnold Palmer and cricket's Max Walker.

While both were stars of their sports they will also be remembered for achievements outside the game itself.

Arnold Palmer went on to be an outstanding golf course designer even while he was still competing at the highest levels of golf.

There are hundreds of golf courses around the world that were created by him including many developed from the swamp lands of Florida.

Many will suggest that he will be best remembered by all professional golfers now and in the future for what he did for the game.

In his time he was the most popular golfer and attracted thousands of fans known as Arnie's Army who followed him at every tournament.

At this stage golf was not shown on television but some network executive saw the popularity of Arnold Palmer and decided to have a go at televising golf.

At first it was pretty basic with just one camera behind each green but as rating grew the coverage developed into what it is today.

This TV coverage was the catalyst for the great increase in sponsorship monies which flowed on to the prize money.

During his career Palmer won 62 tournament including seven majors and his career earnings were just $US3.6 million.

In contrast the same weekend that Arnold died Rory McIlroy pocketed $US11.5 million for winning the Tour Championship and the season-long FedEx Cup.

Max Walker was a pretty good first class cricketer and AFL footballer but he probably became better know after he retired from playing.

He appeared on television in a number of shows for both Channel Seven and Nine and will also be remembered for his Aerogard Television commercials.

Max Walker also wrote 14 humorous books which had total sales of well over one million copies and he was also well in demand as a public speaker.

Almost all of Australia's 29,000 Rotarians will know of Max Walker's involvement with their charity, Rotary Oceanic Medical Aid for Children.

For many years he was the patron of this charity who organises treatment for badly disfigured children from countries in the region without proper medical facilities.

In his roll as patron Max Walker was able to use his special talents to generate much needed sponsorship for the cause.

He visited Bundaberg during 2005 and on behalf of ROMAC he accepted a cheque for $150,000 which was part of the proceeds from a joint Rotary project.

Under the supervision of local Rotarians, Lindsay Ford and Ross Edwards the combined local clubs had built a house to raise funds.

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