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Cricket says goodbye to Michael Evans

20th February 2020 Posted in League and People by Michael Weeks

 

Tribute and photos by Michael Weeks, Secretary, Cornwall Cricket League

Scroll down for numerous Club and Personal tributes

The death has been announced of Cornish Cricket stalwart Michael Evans of Tuckingmill, Camborne, aged 81. Having suffered ill health in recent times, and a brief spell at the Royal Cornwall Hospital, he passed away on 27 January 2020 at Falmouth Hospital. He stepped down from office in 2016 after completing a remarkable 44 years of service for both the Cornwall Cricket League and Mining Division Evening League.

Basset Road Secondary Modern School 1st XI 1952 – The scorer is Mike Evans. Front row 2nd from right Austin Weeks (Camborne, St Gluvias & Cornwall). Back row teachers Jack Duckham & Maurice Bolitho (future League Chairman 1966 & President 1971).

Michael was one of five siblings and is survived by brothers Neil & Nigel and sisters Gloria & Joyce.

He made his league debut as a 14-year-old player for Kehelland in 1953 before moving on to play for Barripper. Duty called in 1957 when he was conscripted for two years of National Service, which he thoroughly enjoyed. He spent twelve months in Cyprus which included playing plenty of cricket. He was a left-arm bowler and in his own words  ‘a sticker’ with the bat.

Mike presenting the Premier 50/50 Cup at Werrington in 2011 to Callington’s Jim Shorten

His first cricket administration duties came with his club South Crofty, in the sixties. He worked underground at the tin mine, near his home. He became the cricket club secretary, a post he held for 41 years to 2001. The club joined the Cornwall Cricket League in 1969. The famous local rugby referee Tommy May was his club captain, father of notable referee David ‘Daisy’ and grandfather of St Just’s highly successful cricket captain Gareth.

South Crofty CC Awards Evening at the Penventon Hotel, Redruth circa 1971. Back row far left Tommy May and far right Mike Evans.

In the late sixties, Mike organised an overseas club cricket tour to Dublin, playing matches at Trinity College. South Crofty CC went on to win eight successive Junior 2 titles in the 1980s but were annually denied promotion due to the ‘closed shop’ that operated in the top two Western divisions at the time.

Mike Evans, Nigel Jolly & the late Del Codd at the Jolly’s Complementary Cup Final at Roche in 2002.

After giving up playing Mike took on the role of Mining Division Evening League Secretary & Treasurer in 1973 and ran the popular evening competition for over four decades. In 1996 the MDEL took over the former Falmouth & District League’s Andrew Cup Competition when ‘Bunny’ Williams retired. Also in 1973, Mike was elected to the Western Sectional Committee of the Cornwall Cricket League. Two years later he joined the countywide Management Committee and in 43 years he only missed one committee meeting, and that was due to medical reasons. Quite an achievement for a non-driver!

The Andrew Cup Final Presentation in 2013. The late Denzil Williams, Mike Evans and David Meneer (Dawe Insurance)

He became Vinter Cup Secretary/Treasurer in 1986 and was an ever-present at both the main gate and presentation ceremony for the annual July final at Camborne’s Roskear ground. Heaven forbid if someone tried to get into the ground without a pass. A  VIP Trophy presenter tried once, but failed miserably! On another occasion, the county captain’s wife got equally short shrift – as Mike correctly pointed out “She’s not playing is she?”

Mike with John Buddle at a Vinter Cup Sponsorship launch in 2016

Mike took on the role of Western Section Secretary in 1990, following the retirement of Goldsithney’s Wally Hodges. Mark Mitchell and Bill Hocking briefly held the position of full League Secretary before Mike was elected to the post in 1993. Chairman and mentor Syd Trembath gave him full support, even if his phone rang on occasions after 10.30 pm with an ’urgent’ question!

Two legends who will be sorely missed – Peter George and Mike Evans ran Evening League cricket in West Cornwall for 94 years between them. Pictured at Camborne 2014.

In recognition of his outstanding service, the Cornwall Cricket League made Mike an Honorary Life Member in 2017. After taking over the running of the Mining Competition the League also commissioned a trophy named in his honour – ‘The Michael Evans Trophy’ that is awarded annually to the Mining Division Evening League champions. His last official cricket duty was to present that trophy, in his name, at the 2017 Final at Camborne.

The 2017 MDEL Final at Camborne ‘Michael Evans Trophy’ Presentation.

Michael enjoyed all sport and particularly rugby, he was a former CRFU referee travelling to games on his trusty scooter. He could quote every law before a line out or scrum, and often did! He was a great statistician and, in addition to cricket, in the winter months would log rugby and football scores week by week. Whether it be Arsenal in the Premier League, Billericay in National League South or Madron in Trelawny League Division 2 their weekly efforts would all be painstakingly logged by hand on a Sunday morning.

Mike Evans with League Presidents Present & Past Clive Rosevear & Mike Buzza at Truro in 2015.

Following a heart valve operation in August 2016, Michael did not enjoy the best of health in later life and spent various spells in hospital. After suffering a number of falls he moved to a care home in the autumn of 2019. “ Who would have thought it would come to this,” he said to me on a recent visit. He is survived by his wife  Janet who, sadly, is in another care home, suffering from dementia. Their relationship came through cricket. They met when Mike toured Greater Manchester with Crofty over 40 years ago.

Personally not only have I lost a cricket colleague but a lifetime family friend. Maybe it was written in the stars that within five days of me becoming League Secretary Mike finally succumbed to his health struggles of late. We go back over fifty years when my late dad started playing cricket again to encourage me and my brother as youngsters. He joined South Crofty CC and was part of that tour to Ireland just before the troubles. No link hopefully! Mike would often visit the house in those days never saying no to a mug of tea or devouring the remains of the cake tin – anything stale – not a problem – he would sort it!

The 2016 Andrew Cup Final at Mount Ambrose

Mike taught me to score cricket matches and must have known a thing or two as in later life I was considered competent enough to score three-day Minor County games. He also taught me how to use computer spreadsheets and the complex fixture making matrix. To think, I could have had a life! For 25 years I was Mike’s transport for various cricket meetings and cup games, to St Austell or Truro in particular. Live Vinter Cup draws at grounds were always an event. Even the one at Camborne when ball number 6 never got in the bag but was eventually found near the Gents!

Before that, in the eighties, we followed Camborne Rugby Football Club every Saturday, home and away, Launceston to Penzance,  before the National Leagues came in. Over those four decades and thousands of miles, I would patiently be the recipient of his portfolio of stories. They did get a little repetitive it has to be said. If I had a pound for every time I heard about Peter Denning’s innings he witnessed at Taunton in 1973 or comments when drafted in at short notice to umpire a Camborne v  Redruth Senior 1  hotly contested derby with Bill Bosanko or what a marvellous invention road cats eyes were or the parking problems in Tuckingmill I’d be a very rich man indeed.

Mike would often recall when playing for Crofty the captain and wk Tommy May would shout “I want it here when throwing in, in the gloves”. Mike’s next return, from short range, was of such velocity it laid poor Tommy out after being hit in the stomach. “Was that better? was Mike’s response to ‘Captain Fantastic’ as he referred to him.

For 15 years Mike gave up his summer Saturday nights to help collect the match scores for the Sunday Indy, first at Paul Bawden’s and then with me. Amongst the stress, there were lighter moments. Picking up the tv remote and talking to it instead of the phone was almost a weekly classic or the abrupt call to a clubhouse for a missing key result, nearing copy deadline, where his greeting would be “How did you get on today, you haven’t phoned in the result to Michael Weeks for the Sunday Independent!” Never mind “Good Evening etc”. Mike’s motto was always why use 20 words when five will do?

Then there was his repertoire of rehearsed catchphrases such as   “Rules is Rules”, “Put it in writing” and  “Makes you wonder what’s going on” when something might not have been as it seemed.

I’ll close with one of his favourites “It was never a dull moment”.

Thanks for the memories Mike, dedication and laughs.

Rest in Peace.

Michael Weeks

Secretary, Cornwall Cricket League

 

Scroll down for more Tributes

 

Mike with Mike Buzza at Leedstown in 2009. Thankfully he wasn’t a drinker!

  • Charlie Ellis I only knew of him as a fantastic servant of the Cornish Cricket League, but it’s great to hear about his wider and ‘previous’ life. Sorry for your loss especially, The Other Michael. 😔
     
  • Kevin Bosustow Another stalwart of Cornish Cricket gone RIP Michael.
     
    Edward Leverton What an amazing servant to cricket in the Duchy. My condolences to his family and friends. What a magnificent tribute Mike congratulations
     
  • Nigel Sanders Another wonderful man has left us, going to play in that ground in the sky. In all my dealings with Mike he was always a perfect gentlemart this
     
    Anita Oats R.I.P michael
     
    Joe SkinnerA true gent and a great servant to Cricket in Cornwall, RIP Michael
     
    A lovely tribute to a wonderful man Michael, condolences to all family and friends from Menheniot-Looe CC.
     
    I didn’t know Michael that well, but  had many talks with him over the years, he always dealt with things in an efficient organised way, an it was obvious that he was a dedicated Cornishman and cricket fanatic. Its also obvious that you were very close to him, and its fitting that you have taken up his position on the top table.
    My memory will be his pronunciation of my name, not Jerry as many make the mistake ( easily done ) but Gurry, with that special Camborne accent .
     A very sad day for Cornish Cricket. Roger Gerry  South Petherwin Cricket Club
     
  • He will be sadly missed by the Cricketing fraternity in Cornwall and especially in the Camborne Redruth area. I bet there’s not many clubs who haven’t received a call on Monday or Tuesday which ended with “he’s not registered”. Not malicious just the way it should be done. Rodney Fine CACO Secretary/Treasurer
  • Sad to hear about the passing of Mike Evans, previous secretary and stalwart of @CornwallCricket our thoughts are with his family and friends #cornwallcricket
Very sorry to hear this Michael, he made such a huge contribution to Cornish Cricket. I remember him sitting next to me scoring once at Camborne and admiring Nick Yelland going from 82 to 100 in 3 balls (all lost), saying that’s proper cricket shots. Needless to say he went home after tea to start compiling the results.
Our best wishes go to his family and friends, and to you who spent so much time in his company. Mark and all at Wadebridge CC

Great words Mike condolences to all from Gorran CC

Colin Weeks Sad day for Cornish Cricket RIP Mike. Michael, firstly what a marvellous tribute to Mike, he would be so proud. Secondly congratulations on the secretaries post, well deserved.

St Blazey Cricket Club   Rest in peace to former league secretary Michael. Thoughts go out to your family and cricket friends

  • Diane Pearce So sad to hear this news
    Great memories of him when I was first our clubs (Grampound Road) secretary he was always the one I turned to for help RIP Michael
     
  • David James Another of Cornwall cricket characters has left us …
     
  • Bill Bettison RIP Mike a true cornishman
     
  • Roger Angove Condolences from all at Ludgvan . Great servant to Cornish cricket and a lovely man.
     
  • Paul Glover I do not know Micheal but it is always sad to lose any one to do with cornish cricket my sympathy goes to his family and his club
     
  • Dave Aunger Very very sad day, Cornish Cricket has lost one its pillars! Condolences to his family and close friends.
     
    Kevin Marriott A very kind and helpful man. RIP Michael
     
    Leigh Irving Murray Sad day , what a lovely man .
     
    Nigel Dawes  Mike was such a great servant to Cornish cricket. Commiserations from those who knew him at Newquay CC. He helped me many times as a novice secretary.
     
    Tony Mitchell  RIP Michael ST Day cc
     
     Darren Kirwan  Only after joining the LMC for a brief spell did I ever truly realise what this man did for Cornish Cricket. A genuine stalwart in the true sense, he helped me a lot during my time as Captain, Secretary & Chairman of St Blazey CC and I smile at remembering the sayings that Michael Weeks mentions in addition to his “Hello Darren” or “Hello Cricket Results” in that unmistakeable tone of his.
    RIP Mike. 🏏
     
    Such sad news ! A great servant to Cornish cricket 🏏 RIP Michael
    Lewis Bond RIP Mike Evans from us all at Callington CC.
    On a personal note I will miss you sitting in the scorebox for the first innings when we visit Camborne in the Summer.
     
    Margaret Ireland So many stalwarts of cricket have left us in the past year, all will be remembered and never be replaced.
    Was sorry to hear about the passing of Michael Evans, I didn’t have the pleasure of meeting him myself but talking to you last Wednesday and how you spoke of him and seeing some of the tributes on Facebook he was obviously a marvellous man and a testament to Cornish Cricket. Please pass on our condolences to family and friends from Myself and everyone at St Stephen CC  Regards  Kyle Prophet
     

    The ‘Michael Evans Trophy’

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