Chudleigh mourn death of Mike Gaywood aged 78

Chudleigh 1st XI in 1974 - Mike Gaywood is in the middle of the back row

FLASHBACK to 1974 and this photo of the Chudleigh 1st XI. Back (left to right): D Harvey, M Sleeman, B Worth, Mike Gaywood, G Shears, J Pike, D Mazzey. Front: S Cole, R Milman, H Radford, C Sercombe, B Gaywood. Front: P Sercombe.

SPORTSMAN, countryman and music man. The late Mike Gaywood was all of those.

Gaywood, who has died aged 78, played cricket for Chudleigh and football for numerous clubs, notably Moretonhampstead.

The Gaywoods are a notoriously sporting family – and Mike was one of six brothers to pick up bats, balls or bowls at some time.

Nick Gaywood, Mike’s nephew and a former Bovey Tracey and Devon cricketer, said his uncle had a go at most sports at some stage or another.

“He was in demand as a football goalie and played to a good level as an amateur,” said Nick.

“Uncle Mike played cricket at Chudleigh for a long time and also had the odd game for Bovey Tracey and Drewsteigton.

“He was in the army for 12 years and told me he spent a lot of it boxing out in the Far East.

“My uncle must have been pretty fit as he was in the Field Gun Crew that used to take part in tournaments where they strip the gun carriage down, carry it some distance using ropes and pulleys, then put it all back together again.

“I know he played a bit of hockey too and was a handy darts player.

“Everything he did he was serious about, right down to short-mat bowls which he took up.”

Mike Gaywood was a choral scholar as a young boy and attended a college where former Kent and England cricketer Arthur Fagg was on the staff.

“I don’t know where the school was, but my uncle carried on singing long after he left there,” said Nick.

“If there was a sing-song going on in the pub, Mike would either be joining in or playing along on his harmonica.”

After returning from his military service, Mike Gaywood joined the Forestry Commission. Later he worked for South West Water.

Mike Gaywood, who lived near Moretonhampstead is survived by his wife Sue and two children. His funeral will take place this Friday (November 2) at the Exeter & Devon Crematorium (1.30pm).

MOLLY Dart, Mike Gaywood’s grand-daughter, learned this week she has been selected for the England U21 rounders squad. 

Molly, who attends Clyst Vale Community College in Exeter, has graduated to the under-21s after three seasons in the England U16 squad, the last of them as captain.