Many fathers and sons have represented Devon in the time the county club
has existed. David Thorneley, the man behind this brochure, has asked me to
compile an article on the times my father and I represented the county.
Stuart, my father, grew up in Bovey Tracey and played for the cricket
club when he was 12. He was the first player after World War Two to
represent the county from Bovey Tracey CC when he made his debut in
1947. At that time there was no league cricket and his selection must
have been based on his performances against teams such as Torquay
and Paignton who even then employed professionals. My father was a
wicketkeeper/batsman who went on to
make 25 appearances for the county over
a period of 10 years. His top score was 79
not out at Torquay against Gloucestershire
2nd XI. He was capped in 1950. He was also
part of the team which challenged for the
Minor Counties Championship in 1954 when
they travelled to the Oval to play Surrey 2nd
XIs. (County 2nd XIs played in the Minor
Counties Championship until the late 1980s).
The match was affected by rain and finished
in a draw and that was all Surrey required
to win the Championship. He also played
representative cricket in the Royal Air Force
when completing National Service. My father
did have a couple of years away from Bovey
Tracey when he played for South Devon
Cricket Club and became a team-mate of Len
Coldwell who went on to play for Worcestershire and England.
My own involvement with cricket began through my father in 1966 on his
return from South Devon. He started a colts team at Bovey Tracey. Matches
were played with other local clubs. The teams were unlike those of today
with different age groups, just one team per club and anyone under the age
of 17 played. In 1975 through a work colleague I was invited to tour with the
Gentlemen of Devon Cricket Club (a club with players mainly from the Exeter
and Plymouth cricket clubs at that time) on their annual weekly tour in and
around London. I am told I made a suitable impression in getting noticed
to be invited for a Devon trial against the Royal Navy at Exeter. That same
year, I emulated my father by being the second player from Bovey Tracey
to represent the county. This was at Torquay against a strong Somerset 2nd
XI which included such names as Peter Roebuck, Tom Cartwright, Graham
Burgess. I was also a wicketkeeper/batsman.
In the next nine years I appeared just five times in the County
Championship, the competition was stiff, there were other fine keepers
around at that time – Joey Oliver, Bruce Coleman, Mark Stevens and Mike
Garnham, who went on to play for Gloucestershire and Essex. I would like
to have played more but it wasn’t to be. I did have
the chance of a Devon tour when they travelled away
for a week and played, Berkshire and Oxfordshire.
Work commitments stopped me going! There was no
one-day cricket then, although we had friendly and
trial matches against the Navy and other strong teams.
The county also celebrated many milestones in a club’s
history by sending a representative team. I played in
many of those.
Since those days, my father and I have followed the
county’s fortunes over many years and have attended
matches when time and other family and cricket
commitments have allowed.
Playing for Devon
Devon at the Oval in 1954 when they played Surrey II in the Minor Counites
Challlenge match. The game ended in a draw, handing the title to Surrey.
Back (left to right): Hubert Cath (secretary), Stan Cray, Len Coldwell,
Peter Atkinson, Derek Cole, Tom Dean, Stuart Mountford, R Hutchings (scorer).
Front: Nigel Bloy, Deryck Fairclough Graeme Parker, Norman Borrett,