Umpire Chris Shelton - awarded life membership of DACO at the organisation's annual meeting

DACO – the Devon Association of Cricket Officials – has paid tribute to two of its longest-serving members.

Chris Shelton, who has retired from active service after ‘more years than he cares to remember’ was awarded honorary life membership of the association at its annual meeting.

The Tony Miller Award for services to officiating in Devon went to Ken Jeffery. 

Ken has held the posts of county treasurer and South Devon Area Appointments Officer concurrently.  The salver was handed over by own area secretary Dennis Smith.

Both awards were made during DACO’s annual meeting, which was hosted by Barton CC.

Shelton and Jeffery both live in Torquay. Shelton played cricket for Barton before moving into umpiring. Jeffrey turned out for Cockington in the 1960 and has been an official and volunteer at Torquay CC for more than 20 years.

Paul Smith (left) with Dom Bess when he umpired a T20 game between Dorset and Somerset last seasonDACO president Danny Daniels ran the show and delighted members by agreeing to soldier on for another year.. There had been fears the popular Welshman was going to stand declare his innings closed.

Daniels’ main aims remain to help promote officiating in any way he can and encourage new people to take up officiating.

The Management Committee sees only one change with Nigel Piddock calling time on being Secretary.  Smith is the next man in.

Retired teacher Shelton had considered calling time as education officer, but is continuing until, someone comes forward to replace him.

The Aldridge White Memorial Trophy for the year’s best umpire was an early wedding present for Devon’s up-an-coming star, Paul Smith.  He received the trophy from county performance officer Steve Lavis.

A brief discussion was, held about forthcoming amendments to Law 41.7 (high, non-pitching balls) and the Tolchard DCL’s plan to fully implement the new restrictions on the sizes of bats in the Premier Division. 

The evening concluded with a successful draw run by Nicholas Evanson, which raised £50.

Former Devon umpire Gordon Ripley, who stood in Devon League and Minor Counties matches for more than 20 years, has been made a life member of the Association of Cricket Officials.

Ripley, a taxman turned clergyman who had a long association with Paignton CC, now lives in retirement in Gloucestershire.