Tony Hirst

Tony is 74 (writing in December 2010). He learned his cricket at prep school and Rugby which he attended from the age of 13. One of his father’s pals, an ex-Leicester county cricketer, taught Tony, then aged 12, the art of swing bowling. After Rugby School, Tony played for Queen’s College, Oxford, Huddersfield RUFC and C&J Hirst&Son Ltd (textile and evening leagues), before joining the Casuals in 1967. He recalls his initial Casuals contact must have been one of the many players who were also friends, for example Jim Netherwood, Ray McGill, Paul Wood, and Mike Hallas. So the old boys had a regular sunday cricket side in the 1950s, confirmed by John Greenwood.

Tony’s occupation was cloth designer in the family firm.

Tony suggests that whilst he was league cricket standard, probably second XI in the stronger clubs, he didn’t want the Saturday commitment. He still wanted to play, so the Casuals were the answer. The standard wasn’t good, apart from some of the league players, but the fun was enough compensation. When needed, they could put out a tough side.

The minutes record that Tony became skipper in 1970. Played up to 2003 (I remember him as a tenacious skipper at the end of season game). His average was 14.8 from 122 innings which places him 22nd in the Hall of Fame batting list and 5th in the number of innings list.

As a skipper he attended committee meetings which he remembers as informal, friendly and helpful. The secretaries were all good at minutes and chairs were good at chairing.


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