1976 - 1977 Season Report

1976 - 1977 Season

The fifth season of meetings, that got under way on 18th November 1976 with Keith Andrews.

There would appear not to have been a dinner in December 1975 with Derek Hodgson speaking at the January dinner held on the 20th of the month.

Alan Oakman of England and Sussex was the speaker at the next dinner held on February 24th 1977. Alan Oakman at the time he was Warwickshire's senior coach and later their assistant secretary. He was still making occasional appearances for the county's Over-50 side when almost 70. As a player he was an allrounder who was rather unfortunate to play only two Tests for England the second being Laker's match at Manchester in 1956 when he took five catches close to the wicket. At 6' 6" he took catches others couldn't get near, especially bat-pad chances - and helped his batting where his tremendous reach and strength off the front foot meant that he was an outstanding driver of the ball - he passed 1000 runs in a season nine times. He was also an offspin bowler taking 99 wickets in 1954 and a hat-trick in 1952. After retiring he briefly became an umpire, standing for one over of the 1973 Edgbaston Test when Arthur Fagg, the appointed official, refused to start in protest at West Indies' behaviour in the field.

The dinner of 26th March 1977 saw David Steele, the 1975 BBC Sports Personality of the Year and former England, Bedfordshire, Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Northamptonshire batsman. His England career lasted only eight matches and little more than a year, but in that time he became a national hero, averaging 42 against the best fast bowlers in world cricket including Dennis Lillee and Jeff Thomson and the fearsome West Indian pace quartet of 1976 namely Roberts, Holding, Daniel, Holder.

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