1959 – Huge Crowd for Lord’s Taverners Charity Match at Purfleet

Thurrock and District Cricket Association 172-8 dec.,
Lord’s Taverners 173-6

played Sunday 13th September 1959 – Lord’s Taverners won by five wickets (twelve a side match)

A star-studded mix of Test and County cricketers, together with stars from stage and screen formed the Lord’s Taverners cricket team which played at the Thames Board Mills sports ground in front of an estimated 1500-strong crowd.

The toss was won by the Thurrock and District Cricket Association captain, Bob Phillips, who, it is reported, surprised most people by electing to bat, despite the threat of England’s fast bowler, Freddie Trueman, possibly taking the new ball.

The match, in aid of the National Playing Fields Association, opened with batsmen Phillips and Bernard Blows making a comfortable start for the Thurrock and District Cricket Association by putting on 61 for the first wicket with Phillips contributing 34 and Blows 29.  Number four batsman Roger Wrightson hit 38 and Derek Carter was the host Association’s top scorer with 39.  Dennis Etchells also reached double figures with 13 not out.

However, the Thurrock innings was severely restricted by Indian test cricketer Subhashchandra Pandharinath Gupte and band leader/musician Vic Lewis.  Of the seven Taverners’ bowlers used, Gupte and Lewis took all eight wickets, four each.  First change bowler Gupte took 4-21 from six overs (one maiden), while Lewis, equally passionate about cricket as he was about music, claimed 4-20 from 4.5 overs.  Meanwhile, Richard Hearne, in his guise of “Mr. Pastry”, entertained the crowd by a spectacular display at long leg and third man.

After the tea interval, Lancashire and England’s Geoff Pullar struck a magnificent 89 until he was caught by Roger Wrightson off the bowling of Keith Smith.  Pullar’s innings lasted one hour and 48 minutes and his opening partner, Maurice Fenner, who played 33 first class matches for Kent, normally as wicketkeeper, between 1949 and 1964, struck 38 as these two put on 80 for the first wicket.  The Taverner’s number three batsman, actor Peter Dyneley, made a swift exit with just three runs to his name, but L. H. Phillips hit 13 and Fred Trueman (Yorkshire CCC and England) hit 18 in an innings which included the game’s only six hit.  He was subsequently caught by captain Phillips after Trueman had launched the ball to a height that was described at the time as the tallest hit ever seen on the ground.

But the best catch from the Thurrock fielders undoubtedly was that of Wrightson, having run about thirty yards from the boundary to dismiss Pullar.  Disc jockey and TV presenter Pete Murray and Subhashchandra Pandharinath Gupte both ended the game on four not out.  Gupte hit his first and only ball to the boundary to secure a fine win with just one ball to spare.

Speaking in January 2012, Derek Etchells said: “I have fond memories of the game. I can recall the great Yorkshireman Fred Trueman arriving late so he came on first change, which happened to co-incide with my innings, I went in at one wicket down. He sent a few balls down, then the first slip, Geoff Pullar of Lancashire asked if his Yorkshire colleague was capable of bowling anything faster. The next ball was this lightning fast bouncer that I barely saw. ‘Don’t worry, young lad, that was never going to hit you, I just had a point to prove’ he gruffed. I will never forget the experience”. Etchells continued: “In the bar afterwards, I asked Geoff Pullar if he was looking forward to touring the West Indies with the MCC. He said yes, most certainly, and would swim there if he had to!”

Teams and Player Profiles

Can you assist by identifying the first name of Thurrock Association players Chase and Dowding?  Do you know who the umpires were?  Can you add to the profile information of the Lord’s Taverner’s player, L. H. Phillips? Can you supply any photographs from the fixture?

If yes, please email us.

Thurrock and District Cricket Association:

Bob Phillips (Lathol CC, captain)
Bernard Blows (Thurrock Interknit CC)
Derek Etchells (Thames Board Mills CC)
Roger Wrightson (Orsett CC)
K Dowding or A. L. Dowding (Shell CC)
Derek Carter (Thurrock Interknit CC)
Dennis Etchells (Thames Board Mills CC)
Bob Brett (Thames Board Mills CC)
Jim Reader (Thurrock Internet CC)
Dennis Rose (Stork CC)
B Chase (Lathol CC)
Keith Smith (Thames Board Mills CC)

Lord’s Taverners

Geoff Pullar (Lancashire and England)
Maurice Fenner (Kent CCC wicketkeeper who played 33 first class matches between 1949 and 1964)
Peter Dyneley (Actor, still famous today for voice-over of Thunderbirds’ Jeff Tracy)
L. H. Phillips (Unsure, possibly wartime cricketer for the Britsh Empire XI, still being researched)
Richard Hearne (Famous comedian of stage and TV, known as “Mr. Pastry”)
Fred Trueman (Yorkshire CCC and England)
Pete Murray (TV presenter and disc jockey)
Subhashchandra Pandharinath Gupte (Indian test cricketer)
McDonald Hobley (TV presenter)
Vic Lewis (Musician, band leader and music agent, Team captain)
Frank Holder (Jazz singer of Guyanese origin)
John William Martin (known as Jack Martin, Kent CCC and England)


Umpires – unknown
Scorer – Norma Upton (Lord’s Taverners)


To view the original scorecards as supplied by the Lord’s Taverners, please click here.

James Gillson (Communications Manager, Lord’s Taverners)
Alan Moss (Hon. Secretary, Wickford Cricket Club)
Derek Etchells (now a member of Wickford Cricket Club)
Essex and Thurrock Gazette (principally editions dated 11th and 18th September 1959)
Denis Reed (Vice-president, Belhus Cricket Club)