Special surprise for Peter Fulton's dad Gordon
North Canterbury farmer Gordon Fulton wasn't expecting to see his son Peter join an exclusive club when he booked a last-minute flight to Auckland yesterday morning.
With wife Wendy already in Auckland watching the third test between New Zealand and England, Fulton Sr headed north hoping to see the Black Caps take control of the match and set up a series win.
"It wasn't so much for Peter, I just thought [New Zealand] were in a good position and I knew it would be good to be there just in case Peter got a few runs."
He did. The 34-year-old Canterbury captain scored his second century of the match, becoming just the fourth New Zealander to complete the feat and the first in 22 years.
"It was really nice to be up here and see him do it," Fulton Sr said.
As Peter Fulton was audaciously thumping Stuart Broad back over his head for six to bring up his century, his parents cheered in the crowd, but fiancee Libby Retallick had to listen at work in Christchurch
The pair are getting married in a fortnight and having seen Fulton play in the second test in Wellington, Retallick was back at work when her man reached his milestone.
An excited and proud Retallick and five colleagues gathered around a radio as Fulton brought up three figures.
Fulton first played for New Zealand nine years ago, but spent more than three years out of the team.
Seldom do sporting comebacks, especially by players north of 30, end up as fairy tales like this one, and Fulton's father couldn't have been prouder.
"He didn't think he was going to get back into the New Zealand team. To do it, then to do so well, it's just great."
The Oxford club player and Christ's College old boy has now made himself a certainty for the return tour against England starting in May.
With his 246 runs in this test - and 347 runs at 69.4 in the series - Fulton takes his first-class tally for the season to 1249 runs, the second most in a season by any New Zealander. Fairfax NZ