Devon trying to contact the class of 56

DEVON youth cricket officials have been given some help by one of their old boys tracking down former players for a unique reunion.

Sixty years ago this summer Cornwall entertained Devon in the first match between the counties at under-15 level.

Devon had run an U15 side previously, but it was a new venture for Cornwall at the time.

Devon were 49 for six chasing 130 to win when rain stopped play.

Cornwall are celebrating the anniversary this summer with an under-15 match at Truro against their oldest rivals.

Now the hunt is on to find survivors of that first match at Liskeard, who are being invited to lunch at the jubilee game.

Devon’s team-sheet that day was Treverro, Cowburn, Gray, Newman, Withicamb, Gibson, Newell, Friendship, Gollop, Truscott and A N Other.

‘There should be 11, but one name is indecipherable in the scorebook,’ said Devon official Jon Mears.

The two-day game at Truro starts on June 1.

Mears would like to hear from anyone whose name is on the teamsheet – or anyone who knows the whereabouts of someone on it.

He can be contacted at jonathan.mears@devoncricket.co.uk

Mears has already been in touch with Chris Newman, who was skipper that day, and 60 year on he remembers the match clearly.

“The match was played in the wet at Liskeard and I recall slipping running between the wickets and being run out for nought,” said Newman, who was at Exmouth Grammar School at the time.

Having looked down the team sheet, Newman has been able to throw a bit of light on some of the names.

“My recollection is that Friendship was in fact Friend; Roger Cowburn was from Exmouth; Les Gollop was an opening left-arm fast-medium bowler from the Exeter area; Newell also came from the Exeter area.

“Withycamb is, I believe, Withycombe from South Devon; Treverro was a nice-looking opening bat from the Plymouth area.

“I also believe that G Read, a very good off-break bowler who bowled them at pace, played at that time. He went to Newton Abbot Grammar School.”

Newman said the side was drawn entirely from third-year pupils at secondary schools in Devon.

“Independent and public schools did not join this group in those days,” said Newman.

“But some very good cricketers Yeabsley, Kerslake, Tolchard; Jeremy Morris and others who were resident in Devon but educated at Harrow, Wellington College; Dartington Hall, Exeter School, Plymouth College were later recruited by Stuart Fudge for the older, colts side.”

Fudge, the head of PE at Exmouth Grammar School, was instrumental in getting youth cricket flourishing in Devon. A club cricketer himself with Exmouth, he ran the county under-19 side from 1955 to the mid-1960s.

Chris Newman left Exmouth for Reading University in 1961, where he played rugby, football and cricket in the first teams.

He became a teacher in Worcestershire and played league cricket for Kidderminster.

Devon kept in touch with Newman and picked him to play Minor Counties cricket between 1966-68.

Younger brother Roger was also in the Devon team at the same time. He later became head coach at Oxford University and the first Academy director at Warwickshire.

Roger Newman rejoined Devon in 2004. Over the next nine years he held a variety of posts, commercial and coaching, ending up as director of cricket between 2010-12.

 

 


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