1977 - 1978 Season Report

1977 - 1978 Season

The sixth season of meetings got under way on 19th October 1977 with Don Smith formerly of Lancashire CCC folowed on the 30th November 1977 by Neil Lenham. Again, there would appear not to have been a December meeting in 1977.

Frank Hayes of Lancashire and England was the first guest of 1978 at the dinner on January 18th. Frank Hayes played nine tests between 1973 and 1976 all against the West Indies but apart from his debut century, aggregated only 138 runs from his other 16 innings. A strong back-foot player, he drove well, and could score rapidly. In 1977 he hit Malcolm Nash, who had conceded six sixes to Garry Sobers, for 6-4-6-6-6-6 in a single over. He went on to captain Lancashire from 1978 to 1980.

Jack Robertson of Middlesex and England was the guest at the dinner held on Valentines day in 1978. Just short of his 61st birthday, Jack had on three occassions opened the England batting with Len Hutton scoring 121 against New Zealand in the Lord's Test in 1949 (143 with Hutton for the first wicket), playing a total of eleven tests, his last England appearance being in the 1951-52 tour of India. His played for Middlesex from 1937 to 1959, fourteen times scoring 1000 runs in a season and, going past 2000 in nine of them. Even when, in 1949, he scored 331 not out, still the Middlesex record and the highest score made in Worcester, he made much of the fact that his pleasure was dulled when he found his car-tyres deflated that evening. Jack sadly died on Oct 12 1996, aged 79. His humour and his devotion to the game were expressed in his palindromic house name: Stikiwikits.

Harold "Dickie" Bird who was a personal friend of Dougie Wilks made his FCCS debut on March 16th 1978 at the height of his illustrious umpiring career. It is often overlooked that he was also a first class player with Leicestershire and Yorkshire before becoming an umpire. "Umpiring has been good to me, but it is the second-best thing to playing." However, his routine of anecdotes provokes great amusement and improve upon each telling. He seemed to attract minor incident with burst pipes, reflecting windscreens and bomb scares all conspiring to trouble him, but each was met and dealt with Yorkshire-bred common sense and humour.

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