I played a great October 9, 2016

Something to remember me by, son

Former Essex fast bowler Don Topley on playing against his son Reece

Reece Topley might have a great future as a lower-order biffer, but can he ever live down the fact that he was bowled by his dad? © Getty Images

It was to be my last game of proper cricket, September 2016, aged almost 53. I was to play for MCC Young Professionals Old Boys at Lord's. Then my son, Reece, was asked to play for the opposition, Cross Arrows Cricket Club.

Father versus son at the Mecca of cricket, on the Nursery Ground. It was the perfect way to go out.

I was an MCC Young Professional before I joined Essex. Phillip DeFreitas, Dermot Reeve and Chris Lewis were there at the same time as me, but none of those guys were playing in the reunion game.

Reece had been out of action this summer with a stress fracture to his back and was playing in this game as a batsman.

We bowled first and I came on first change. I'd already sent down five overs and was pretty knackered when the second wicket fell and Reece strode out to bat.

"One more over?" the captain asked.

I reckoned I could just about muster enough energy. After two dot balls, Reece hit me through the covers for two. Then I dragged one down a bit short and he pulled me imperiously for four into the back of the Compton Stand.

In the car, earlier that morning, on the way up from Southampton, Reece had been telling me that he'd been working on his batting.

Now, as a bowler himself, Reece knew that once I'd dragged down a long hop, there was no way that I'd deliver another one. I pitched the next one up. Reece was anticipating it and tried to hit me all the way to Hampstead, but the ball nipped back in and knocked out the leg stump.

"Been working on your batting?" I asked him as he walked off.

What a moment. In my last ever over, I bowled out an international cricketer at Lord's. The last time I did that was 1992, in a Sunday League game, when I had Desmond Haynes caught behind for 1.

Having knocked Reece over, I gave a quick yelp and, at one point during the celebration, pulled my shirt over my head, football style. A few days later, I received a letter through the post asking me to return my MCC membership immediately. Someone was obviously not too impressed with my physique. It was only a joke, though.

When Reece gets his card at Christmas this year, there'll be a certain image on it. There'll be one on his birthday card too and his Easter card, and maybe even next year's Christmas card.

Reece will probably tell you that he smashed me all over the ground the previous day when we'd played against each other in a six-a-side charity tournament at Highclere Castle, where the TV show Downton Abbey was filmed. But I was only bowling offspin then. It was a different outcome when I came off my full run, all 17 paces of it, in a proper game.

From now on, whenever Reece walks across the hallowed turf, either for Hampshire or England, and he passes under the media centre, he'll look over to the Nursery Ground and think, "Oh my god, that's where my old man got me out."

Even when I'm long gone.

Wayne Robinson played for Northcote Cricket Club in Victoria

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • JohnYelton on October 22, 2016, 16:51 GMT

    Don Topley loves to talk - and talk -and talk. To be fair he is knowledgeable and experienced. But to make this much fuss about an admittedly long-retired bowler, bowling out a batsman who has a career first-class batting average of 3.38, is making a big story out of a small one. I certainly hope Reece is working on his batting and fielding, because he is unlikely to ever play test cricket if he doesn't (but of course fitness is even more of a concern).

  • FieryFerg on October 22, 2016, 14:33 GMT

    Never had a chance to bowl to my dad as we were in the same team for 10 years but on a few occasions we took all 10 opposition wickets between us which felt pretty good. Neither of us were any good with the bat, so if we had had the chance to bowl to each other I don't think it would have lasted long!

  • IndianInnerEdge on October 22, 2016, 11:45 GMT

    awesome story.....enjoyed thoroughly.....and not a bad sledge....:)....can you let us know abouyt ythe haynes dismissal as well please?

  • anver777 on October 21, 2016, 4:42 GMT

    Playing this game @ Mecca of Cricket Lord's is another unforgettable moment for both father & son !!!

  • cricfan67215527 on October 20, 2016, 13:14 GMT

    Fantastic story. Well done Sir.

  • Cricinfouser on October 20, 2016, 12:38 GMT

    I can imagine his joy because I did the same not at Lord's of course but at our backyard.