1980

Obituaries before 1979

BEARDMORE, WILLIAM JOSEPH MONTAGUE, a right-handed batsman who represented Scotland against South Africa in 1924, died on December 29, 1978. Born on August 18, 1894, he was in the Loretto XI from 1910 to 1913 before going up to Cambridge.

BINNEY, EDGAR JAMES, was, at the time of his death on September 9, 1978, at the age of 93, the oldest surviving Victorian first-class cricketer and a former successful bowler with the historic Essenden club in Melbourne first-grade cricket between 1907 and 1916. Personal commitments restricted his cricket after appearing for Victoria in 1910 and closed his career when he commenced in 1916 - first as accountant - his 40-year association with the powerful Commercial Travellers Association of Victoria. As its secretary-manager for 25 of its most active years, Binney was widely known in Melbourne business and club circles for his gentlemanly bearing, noted diplomacy, and extremely friendly manner in dealing with all with whom he came in contact.

BARDFIELD, ARTHUR, who died in a North Wales nursing home on December 25, 1978, aged 86, was on the Essex staff in 1922 after making his mark as a wicket-keeper in club cricket, and he was the county's last surviving professional of that year. He made several Championship appearances and played in the game at Northampton in which Jack O'Connor hit the first of his 72 hundreds. Born at Box, Wiltshire, on January 5 1892, he lived at Mochdre, Colwyn Bay.

DAVIS, ANTHONY TILTON, headmaster of Reading School, died at Reading on November 20, 1978. He was for many years one of the leading Berkshire batsmen and captained the side from 1960 to 1970. He also played for the Royal Navy.

GRANT, GEORGE COPELAND ( JACKIE), who died in hospital in Cambridge on October 26, 1978, aged 71, first captained West Indies when they sent a side to Australia for the first time in 1930-31 and achieved an historical triumph, winning the last Test by 30 runs on a rain-affected wicket. At Cambridge, he played for the University against Oxford at association football in 1928-29-30 and at cricket in 1929 and 1930. He proved himself to be a sound tactician and an admirable captain, probably at his best when R. E. S. Wyatt took a weakened MCC side to the West Indies in the winter of 1934-35 and their weaknesses were exposed by Grant's men, who won the series.

GUARD, DAVID RADCLYFFE, who died suddenly at Hartfield, Sussex on December 12, 1978, aged 50, was four years in the Winchester XI, and in the last, 1946, when he was captain, headed the batting averages with excellent figures. Between 1946 and 1949, played a number of times for Hampshire, his most notable performance being an innings of 89 which saved them from probable defeat against Glamorgan at Cardiff in 1949.

HEARNE, GEORGE ALFRED LAWRENCE, who died at Barberton in the Eastern Transvaal on November 13, 1978, at the age of 90, was a member of the 1924 South African team to England and appeared in the fifth Test. He was the son of Frank Hearne (1858-1949) and was born at Catford, Kent, on March 27, 1888. In November of that year Frank Hearne sailed as a member of Major Wharton's team (the first English team to visit South Africa) which played in two test matches which marked the start of first-class cricket in South Africa. Thus George Hearne's lifetime exactly spanned this era. His father stayed on to coach in South Africa and subsequently played for South Africa in several Test matches. Both father and son lived to the age of 90, which must be unique in Test match history. George, at the time of his death, was not only the senior South African Test player (on an age basis) but second only to E. J. ( Tiger) Smith in the world. It was the season of 1921-22 which brought him into prominence. That year he made 541 runs at an average of 45. His highest score of 138 was made in his last season - 1926-27.

LIVSEY, WALTER H., who died at Merton Park on September 12, 1978, aged 84, was one of the best county wicket-keepers of the 1920s. Born at Todmorden, Yorkshire, he was originally on the staff at The Oval, but with Strudwick in his prime there was no opening for him, and he was persuaded to move to Hampshire. While qualifying, he played in 1913 against Oxford and gave an immediate sign of his class, allowing only 3 byes in an innings of 554. In 1914 he succeeded Stone as regular'keeper, and his stumping of Jack Hobbs off a sharply lifting ball from Kennedy wide of the leg stump created quite a sensation. Not being demobilised in time, he missed the season of 1919, but from 1920 continued as the county's regular wicket-keeper until a breakdown in health caused his retirement at the end of 1929. Despite his wicket keeping he is now perhaps better remembered for the part his batting played in one of the most sensational county matches in history. At Edgbaston in 1922, Warwickshire made 223 and then on a plumb wicket bowled Hampshire out for 15. In the follow-on, six wickets were down for 186, and when Livsey came in at number ten, Hampshire were only 66 ahead. He and George Brown put on 177, and then Boyes helped him to add 70 for the last wicket. Livsey's share was a faultless 110 not out and Hampshire won this incredible match by 155 runs. His only other century was 109 not out in eight-five minutes against Kent at Dover in 1928, but in 1921 against Worcestershire he helped Bowell to put on 192 in 110 minutes for the last wicket, his own contribution being 70 not out.

MARLOW, GEOFFREY A., who died at Lincoln on November 11, 1978, played for Lincolnshire as a hard-hitting batsman and a reliable bowler between 1946 and 1957. In 1953 he took 36 wickets at an average of 13.44.

MELVILLE, PAUL, one of Victoria's most promising cricketers, died suddenly at his home in East Burwood, aged 21, on November 21, 1978. He played with Rushton in the Lancashire League and scored 1,115 runs and took 63 wickets in 1978. Death was caused by cerebral haemorrhage and could have been attributed to a blow to the head sustained about a year previously while playing with East Burwood in the East Suburban football competition.

MUNN, DARBY LAWRENCE, one of cricket's most capable and best liked officials, died of cancer in Adelaide on September 24, 1978, aged 62. After a twelve-year stint as Assistant Secretary of the South Australian Cricket Association, he succeeded as Secretary in 1970 and remained in office until his retirement in June 1978. His appointment as an SACA honorary life member - a much-deserved recognition - came only a fortnight before his passing. A commissioned officer in the army during World War II, he was employed in the civil service, where his organising capacity was such that he was appointed Secretary to the state Royal tour committee.

PACKE, MICHAEL ST JOHN, who died in Alderney on December 20, 1978, was the youngest of three brothers who played for Leicestershire. Captain of Wellington in 1934, he went up to Cambridge and in his first innings for the University scored 65 against Essex but failed to win a Blue. He played for Leicestershire from 1936 to 1939 (captain in 1939), scoring a brilliant 118 against Glamorgan at Leicester in 1936- his only century.

PEDEN, D. MURRAY, died suddenly on March 12, 1978, aged 31. An attacking right hand batsman and medium-pace bowler, he died only a few months after winning his twelfth international cap for Scotland. Born on November 4, 1946, he played with success for Fifeshire, moving to Stenhousemuir in 1973.

PEMBERTON, CECIL, who died in Dublin on December 25, 1978, aged 80, was a leading bowler in Dublin club cricket for many years. In his début match against Scotland in 1923, he took part in the second-best Irish last-wicket partnership, which almost gained Ireland a remarkable victory after following on 202 behind.

PRENTICE, FRANK THOMAS, died at Headingley on July 10, 1978, after a long illness, aged 66. Born at Knaresborough, he was spotted by Herbert Sutcliffe while playing for Yorkshire II in 1931, and as there seemed little chance of a place in the Yorkshire side he qualified for Leicestershire. He was a valuable member of their team from 1934 to 1951. A right wrist, badly broken during the war, slightly handicapped him in later years. Nonetheless, his most successful season was his last regular one, in 1949, when he scored 1,742 runs with an average of 38.71, and made his highest score, 191 v Nottinghamshire at Loughborough. After this season he decided to concentrate on his business, and in 1950 played in only thirteen matches. Four appearances as an amateur in 1951 concluded his first-class career, but he never lost his interest in the game and in recent years had done some coaching in South Africa. In his whole career he scored 10,997 runs with an average of 27.70, including seventeen centuries, took 117 wickets, and held 75 catches.

RAMSBOTHAM, COL. WILFRID HUBERT, who died in London on November 7, 1978, aged 89, was in the Uppingham XI in 1905, 1906 and 1907, being second in the batting averages in his first year and heading them in his last two. He did not get a Blue at Cambridge, but between 1908 and 1910 played a few games for Sussex.

RANDELL, ROLLAND HENRY, who died at King William's Town, South Africa, on October 22, 1978, at the age of 92, made his début in 1906-07 for Border as a batsman/wicket-keeper and played until 1925-26. He scored 71 against MCC in 1913-14. He practised as an attorney, which limited his first-class appearances.

SHEPPARD, HAROLD HOLMES, who died at Sherborne Hospital, Dorset, on July 28, 1978, represented Scotland against the South Africans in 1924. His son, H. F., played in 22 matches for Scotland between 1938 and 1952.

SMITH, LANGFORD D., who died in Dunedin on November 1, 1978, aged 63, was a left-hand bat and a slow left-arm bowler who played for Otago from 1934-57 and also represented South Island. Later he was well-known as a selector and broadcaster.

SMITH, LEWIS A., who died in October, 1978, aged 65, played occasionally for Middlesex between 1934 and 1937 and later appeared for Northamptonshire in 1947; against the South Africans he took four for 55, and then, going in at number eleven when the game appeared over, he helped to add 76 for the last wicket, scoring 55.

WILLIAMS, ROBERT GRAHAM, MBE, who died in Adelaide on August 31, 1978, aged 67, was a member of the strong Australian Services team which, in the course of the 1945 English season - and particularly through the Victory Tests against England- played an important part in bringing back such immediate and enthusiastic interest in first-class cricket after World War II. Although just repatriated, and showing the effects of four and a half years as a prisoner-of-war in German hands, Williams immediately impressed in the first Test with a hard-hit 53, including eleven 4s, and two early wickets with the smooth fast-medium bowling that gained him 53 wickets in Australian first-class cricket. A prominent playing member of Adelaide's East Torrens club, he topped the South Australian grade figures in 1936-37 with a bowling average of 8.95, the best since pre-World War I days. During his incarceration, which followed his aircraft being shot down in North Africa in 1941, Williams devoted much time and patience to teaching over 30 blind or partially blind prisoners braille and touch typing, for which he was awarded his MBE. He played little after the war, when he built up important business associations within the Australian wool industry.

© John Wisden & Co