By CONRAD SUTCLIFFE
IT has been a sombre few days for members of Bovey Tracey CC following the death of two stalwarts of the club.
Firstly the club said farewell to Stuart Mountford, a former club captain and county wicketkeeper, who died in February aged 96.
Mountford’s funeral took place in the chapel at the Exeter and Devon Crematorium.
Two days later members learned of the death of life member Paul Bradley, who was a long-standing member of the ground-keeping team. He was 70 and had been suffering from cancer.
Nigel Mountford, the Bovey Tracey chairman and Stuart’s son, said: “Paul and his wife Jackie got involved with the club around 20 years ago when two of their sons started playing for us.
“Jackie helped out in the kitchen with meals and Paul was a great worker on the ground. He wasn’t one for committees: he just got on with whatever was needed.
“Paul and Jackie were made life members of the club at our last annual meeting in recognition of their valued services to the club over many years.
“Paul was a lovely man, very supportive of his sons and the club and we will miss him.”
Paul Bradley was a retired NHS worker. Both cricketing sons – Christopher and Peter – went on to captain the Bovey Tracey 1st XI. Christopher and Peter also played Minor Counties cricket for Devon. Chris was county captain when Devon won the Minor Counties title in 2011.
Paul Bradley is survived by Jackie, his wife of 45 years, and sons, Christopher, Peter and Richard.
Representatives from a number of neighbouring clubs, among them Torquay, South Devon, Countess Wear and Topsham St James, as well as county club and Devon League officials turned out to pay their respects at the funeral of Stuart Mountford.
Stuart’s coffin was decorated not just with flowers but also with caps from his Bovey Tracey and Devon CCC playing days.
Son Nigel, who gave the eulogy, talked through his father’s cricket career and also his working life as a motor engineer, latterly with the GPO in Newton Abbot.
Mourners heard about other aspects of Stuart’s life, such as his time in a dance band.
“Dad played the drums in a band which played at dances in the local village halls and hotels,” said Nigel. “Although he could not read music, he could also play a few popular tunes on the piano.”
Stuart married Doris in April 1950 and son Nigel arrived three years later. The new father’s priority was celebrating his son’s safe arrival.
“Dad ‘wetted my head’ by spending the night with Doctor Harrison, who had helped to deliver me,” said Nigel.
“The doctor was also president of Bovey Tracey CC at the time. Apparently they spent the night playing with the doctor’s model railway.”
Inevitably, Stuart started to slow down as he progressed into his 90s, but his love for cricket never waned.
“He continued to watch cricket every Saturday and some Sundays even up to last season,” said Nigel. He loved being at the club meeting all his friends.”
Stuart Mountford is survived by his wife, son, two grandchildren and four great grandchildren.