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Full name George Dews
Born June 5, 1921, Ossett, Yorkshire
Died January 29, 2003, Dudley, Worcestershire (aged 81 years 238 days)
Major teams Worcestershire
Batting style Right-hand bat
George Dews was a Worcestershire stalwart in the development of the team who won the County Championship in 1964. He played with most of those who brought the pennant to New Road but bowed out three years before the county's first major success. Never flashy, rarely exciting but resolutely dependable, he was one of the loyal county professionals who instilled worthwhile values into the game in the immediate post-war period.
Born in Ossett, Yorkshire, in 1921, he was also a fledgling footballer when he started with Worcestershire in 1946 and for many years he was among those who earned a living from two sports. His was a job well done in winter and summer: 299 Football League appearances and 85 league goals for Middlesbrough, Plymouth Argyle and Walsall; 376 first-class matches, nearly 17,000 runs, 20 centuries and a contemporary record of 353 catches for Worcestershire. Team honours largely passed him by. Third place in the Championship was his best with Worcestershire but he was in the Plymouth team who scored 107 goals in winning promotion as Division Three (South) champions in 1952.
A lesser man might have caved in after being dismissed first ball in each innings on his debut and even worse for a Tyke that this happened in a match against Lancashire at Old Trafford. Yet he quickly put a bad experience behind him and scored 1,000 runs or more in 11 of his 16 seasons.
To be remembered from a generation of artisans is a sincere compliment from colleagues and opponents. Worcestershire contemporary Roy Booth said: "He was a good batsman, uncomplicated as he was in his football, and always a good team man." Jack Bannister, the Warwickshire pace bowler, added his recollection of "a bread-and-butter player who made the most of his ability." This was in the era when batsmen learned to build a technique on uncovered wickets, and as Bannister pointed out, Dews' first-class average of 28.52 would be worth "six or seven more" today, placing him on the level of a David Byas or a Dominic Ostler.
Dews stayed in the Midlands, turning his attention to business and a single-figure handicap at Stourbridge Golf Club. And perhaps he was saw the wry aspect when a Worcestershire Who's Who, published in 1990, listed him on the same double-page spread as Graham Dilley and Basil D'Oliveira: the quiet man before two of the more charismatic players in the county's history.
Wisden Cricket Monthly 2003
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