It is with great sadness Cornwall Cricket reports the death of cricketeing legend Geoff Husband at the age of 84.
He died at his Callington home on Wednesday 13 May, after a short illness, having spent a little time in Derriford hospital.
He is survived by wife Pauline and we send our sincere condolences to her, son Geoff and the rest of his family.
After a long career he has been playing for Gunnislake in the Cornwall League since 2009.
His final game was last year on 17 August at Gunnislake against Tintagel seconds where he made 1 not out and kept wicket scorecard
He also made use of the Devon League loan scheme in 2019 when playing for Yelverton Devon website
As a tribute below is an article I wrote for the 2016 Cornwall Cricket Yearbook with Geoff recollecting reaching 80 at the time and still playing.
He ran Cornwall Over 50’s for decades and annually filed the comprehensive reports for the Yearbook – always way ahead of deadline..
We had many a conversation over the years and he will be sadly missed.
League Secretary/ Media Officer
Trevor Lee, who took over running the County Over 50’s from Geoff, has paid this tribute:
An article first published in the 2016 Cornwall Cricket Yearbook
GEOFF HUSBAND – 80 NOT OUT!
By The Editor
2015 was a memorable year for Geoff Husband. In the year he celebrated his eightieth birthday he kept wicket throughout the season for Gunnislake in Division 6 East of the Jolly’s Drinks Cornwall Cricket League. He also completed his 28th year as Manager of the Cornwall Over Fifties and was awarded the Arthur Lugg Cup during the winter for services to the county club. After years of basically making up the numbers the Cornwall Over Fifties certainly had a season to relish. A remarkable eight match winning run in the ECB 50+ Championship saw them reach the National semi-finals for the first time, before losing to Staffordshire at Stoke-on- Trent.
Geoff has the remarkable record of playing in eight decades. The highlight was being capped for Cornwall in 1972 when he made his championship debut against Dorset at Dorchester. He batted at three, following openers Gerald Parsons and Eric Willcock. He played six games in 1972 and four more the following season, ending against Somerset seconds at Taunton in good company. It was a Somerset team for the future that saw Peter Roebuck make 26, Vic Marks 68 and Ian Botham 82 in the first innings. Phil Slocombe, Keith Jennings, Trevor Gard and Bob Clapp, also went on to enjoy first class careers with the Cider county, while former Somerset skipper Roy Kerslake was also a member of the side. Geoff made 30 not out and 26. Nigel Cock hit 105 and Brian Laity had match scores of 65 and 49.
1948 – 49 Cheltenham G.S. Junior XI
1950 – 51 Cheltenham G.S. Colts XI
1953 – 54 Cheltenham YMCA
1955 – 57 Bristol YMCA, Bristol University 2nd XI
1958 Exeter YMCA, Exeter University 2nd XI
1959 – 60 Felton, Mendip Acorns
1960 – 72 Tavistock, Cornwall
1973 – 74 Callington, Cornwall
1975 – 77 Tavistock
1978 – 84 Lanhydrock
1985 – 93 Tavistock
1994 – 97 United Services
1998 – 09 Various clubs – Menheniot, Gunnislake and Callington
2009 – 19 Gunnislake
Geoff has reflected on his long career:
From 1960 onwards I played for numerous other clubs in mid-week fixtures. These have included United Services,
The Mount, The Saints, Tavistock Ramblers, Devon Dumplings, Cornish Choughs, Cornish Crusaders,
North Devon, Paignton, Chagford and, last but not least, Incogniti.
I played my first “proper” game of cricket in 1948 for the Cheltenham G.S. Junior XI. I captained that side the following year and in 1950 moved up to the Colts side. In 1951 I captained this side and also played for Gloucestershire Under 15 XI. They were captained by Derek Hawkins who later played for the County side. I naturally hoped to progress to the First XI in a year or two, but it was not to be. The master in charge of cricket did not appreciate my natural “talents” and I never got that longed for invitation. Tennis had always interested me and I played it fairly seriously for a couple of years. But at the age of seventeen I had the urge and so started playing cricket again for Cheltenham YMCA and it was then that I took up wicket keeping, having done it only a handful of times in House matches. I took to it like a duck to water in spite of having what, in those days, was considered a handicap – I was over six foot tall and all keepers and scrum halves had to be small !
A couple of seasons with the YMCA brought a big improvement in my batting. I opened regularly for them and learned more about the art of wicket-keeping. At nineteen I went off to Bristol University and at that tender age got married, it was April 1955. As we set up home near Bristol rather than playing for the University I decided to join Bristol YMCA, which at that time was one of the top sides in the city. I was a regular in the Second XI but did play several times for the senior side. One of these was a charity game against a side assembled by Alan Wills, of the tobacco family, and it was the first time I came up against ”star” first class players. In that side were Reg Sinfield ( England and Glos ), Horace Hazell ( Somerset ), Colin Scott and Ken Graveney ( both Glos ). The following year I was lucky enough to play against the full Gloucestershire side in aid of George Emmett’s benefit. His side included John Mortimore, David Allen, Sam Cook and David Smith.
I finished my degree in 1957 and we moved to Exeter for a year where I took my Teaching Certificate at the University. I played a few games for the YMCA and University but in early July we moved back to Bristol for two years where I had found a post at Merrywood G.S. As we were now living about twelve miles south of the city I chose to play for the local village side, Felton, rather than going back to the YMCA. In the event this proved to be very lucky for me because in I959 I helped in the formation of the Mendip Acorns.
Over the years they played most of their cricket in Somerset and Bristol and became closely connected with the Somerset and Gloucestershire county sides. Over many years my connection with this club gave me the opportunity of playing with or against such stars as Zaheer Abbas, Sadiq Mohammed, Brian Close, Mike Procter, Fred Rumsey, Bill Alley, Peter Wight, Harold Stephenson, Brian Rose, Ken Palmer, Tony Brown, Roy Swetman and other lesser lights.
On moving to a post at Tavistock Comprehensive School in 1960 I joined the town club, at that time one of the best sides in Devon. I stayed with them for thirteen years and then had a couple of years at Callington. In those two years we won the Hawkey Cup twice and, for good measure, the Devon Cup (if you are wondering, at that time Callington were an Associate Member of the Devon C.A. and so could enter for their cup competition). The win over Torquay in the final must rank as one of the finest performances ever (by a Cornish club side). Three years back with Tavistock followed before I went to Lanhydrock for the next seven years. At the age of fifty I started to drift around helping out clubs who were struggling for players. I spent time at Gunnislake, United Services, Menheniot and Callington. In 2009 I finally ended up at Gunnislake, where I hope to end my playing days, however long they might be.
In 1972 and 1973 I played ten games for the county and so realised a long standing ambition to get my name in Wisden. In those few games I came up against Ian Botham, Derek Shackleton, Vic Marks, Peter Roebuck and one or two others. Eventually I graduated to the Over 50s where I played with or against the likes of Stewart Storey, Roy Marshall, Malcolm Dunstan, Terry Willetts and Ken Biddulph
When I look back I do have thoughts that the team I could pick from players I have encountered would give any Test side of the past or present a very good game. My team would be Chris Rogers, Sadiq Mohammed, Zaheer Abbas, Mike Gatting, Mike Procter, Brian Close (Capt) Ian Botham, Godfrey Evans, David Allen, Norman Gifford and Derek Shackleton. 12th men Roy Marshall, Fred Rumsey and John Mortimore
Photos – Geoff receiving the Arthur Lugg Cup for services to the club from
Cornwall CCC President Col Ronnie Potts at the Club’s AGM in March 2016.
It is with great sadness I am writing to inform of the passing of Geoff Husband. A lot of us at the club will remember playing alongside Geoff in our younger years and will have many great memories of him. Geoff had been playing cricket for over 70 years!!! In that time he kept wicket for Callington, Cornwall’s full county side in the early 80’s, as well as captained the Over 50’s side in his later years. I’m sure you will all join in passing on our condolences to his wife Pauline and the rest of his family.
Anyone for Cricket Facebook Page
I have some sad news to pass on. Geoff Husband died at home yesterday, soon after being released from hospital. Pauline was with him and it was quick in the end. I know little more, although is was not Coronavirus. I have spoken to Pauline and passed on sympathy from our club. I first met Geoff when we moved to Metherell back in the mid 1980s, and he was pottering around the village cricket team back then offering his sage advice. This was during a brief break from cricket due to angina – little did we know there were still another thirty years to come! . Rest in peace Geoff
Ian Treehugger Dawe What a great guy, have had the pleasure to have many chats with him over the last few years when guesting for Gunnislake etc 😔
A true gent and inspiration, love to his family and friends at this time.
Stephen Rowe A pleasure to play with and against and a frustration to bowl at him…will be missed and was remembered at the League Management Meeting last night.
Graham Gayton Geoff was a wonderful man. He loved cricket and captained me in the Cornwall O60s team. Before one game, the players were ready to leave the changing room to start the game. Someone suggested a pre match team talk. Geoff made it clear that they never really worked in the past and at our ages we should know what to do.
Geoff was ‘old School’, who loved Cricket and those who played
I am shocked and disappointed to hear the news 🏏
During the winter of 2015/16 Geoff has been kept busy in scanning and submitting the Cornwall Over Fifties and Sixties scorecards to the Cricket Archive website.
With most of the scorecards in place the collection complements the full Cornwall CCC archive of over 800 games.
The Over Fifties cards can be found at http://cricketarchive.com/Archive/Teams/9/9395/Other_Matches.html