Philip died on 10th October 2020 aged 73 at Buford Care Home. He was a long standing member of Middleton Stoney Cricket Club and certainly one of its most colourful and flamboyant personalities.
He served on the Committee for some years and was Bar Secretary from 1989-1994 not only demonstrating by example the importance of promoting this source of the Club’s revenue. With his natural charm ensuring that there was never a hint of wives and girlfriends seeking to bring the post match festivities to a premature end, so fond were they of the community singing!. Thus it was that with the barbecue established a little earlier on a regular basis, MSCC became widely known as excellent hosts against whom to enjoy our tradition of friendly cricket.
Philip’s cricket was in character with his general approach to life. It should be enjoyed above all else and if we happened to win then perhaps that would register in his mind, but for only the briefest time after close of play. He was rather better at bowling than batting. As a batsman, he faced the bowler right handed, but not usually for long. As a bowler his demeanour was such as to suggest surprise at being called upon to perform. He didn’t bother to begin by measuring out his run-up, but he had, clearly, noticed a truism about village/club cricket, that slow well flighted deliveries (whether spun or not) gave most batsmen “down the order” so to speak, a problem. This he earnestly tried to exploit and, it must be acknowledged, with a degree of success. When told that this method of bowling was known as ‘parabolic’ his eyes lit up at the thought that he had actually achieved something that merited a name. When he was made aware that it had been initially tried by one Harry Moss (brother of the founder of Moss Bros) in 1923, his joy was unbounded. Philip, of course, was always well turned out; no doubt due to the inventor of the “parabolic” delivery.
He was always in his element at our Club dinners held in those days at the beginning of the season. These events used to be graced by the presence of the ladies and usually featured a well known sporting name as the principle speaker. However at least one of them blotted his copy-book by relating a dubious anecdote more suited shall we say to a rugby dinner. Partly as a result of this it was thought that in 1992 we should also have a smaller ‘Players Dinner’ to take place in the pavilion after the final match of the season when the cricketers could feel free to let their hair down. This idea got off to a flying start and of course with Philip as Bar Secretary no stone was left unturned in making the. evening memorable, or perhaps more accurately, unmemorable!
As an example of how alert Philip was to the opportunities that could be derived from cricket we had two very convivial fixtures arranged with a side from Johannesburg on 20/21 June 1981. As it happened the name of the visitors was The Inanda Club and during the second day Margaret-Ann and Philip became the proud parents of a baby girl. They called her “Philippa” and low and behold her middle name was to be Inanda. How apt that the English translation of the Zulu name Inanda is ‘beautiful gift’.
Philip will be remembered by his wide circle of friends as a generous host and for his readiness to help anyone if he possibly could. It was a tragedy eleven years ago that he suffered a massive stroke which left him with such debilitating consequences, but he was well cared for and remained cheerful with much support from his family and friends.