Manor Ground Memories from Terry Burstow

Terry Burstow provides his recollections on a long association with Worthing Cricket Club and the County that spans participation for both Worthing Cricket and Hockey Clubs, as well as on and off-field duties with Sussex Cricket. Someone with a true passion for the game, he continues his interest as a panel umpire and more latterly, as a club/league administrator. Recently elected a Vice President of Sussex County Cricket Club, without question, Terry is someone who has a lot to look back on while he still contributes to the recreational club cricket scene…..

A long time player of both Hockey and Cricket for the club, which was your first passion and which sport did you play to the highest level?

I enjoyed both sports. I progressed to a higher level at Hockey, but Cricket was my game.

My father was a decent footballer, who played for Worthing for many seasons, including the time they won the Sussex Senior Cup. He was a tall centre half and played some games for Brighton and Hove Albion Reserves and Tottenham Reserves. I was, therefore, very much into football, but after leaving Primary school I went to Worthing High School for Boys, which was a Rugby playing school. It was situated on the opposite side of the Broadwater Road to the Manor Ground, where the Bohunt School is now.

One of the Senior teachers at the school was Mr. Foinette, who was known as ‘Frosty’ or ‘Fro’ to us boys. He was Head of Biology and was new to all the boys except me, because his wife had taught me at Primary School and I had already met him. In 1961 he asked me if I would like to score for Worthing 2nd XI and if I did he would take me to meet the Team Secretary, Jack Robins. So a few weeks later I scored my first game, which was played at West Park, now the site of the Worthing Leisure Centre, between Inland Revenue (Worthing) and Worthing 2nd XI. I continued to score for three years.

A highlight for me was in 1963 when the 2nd XI travelled to Hailsham and one of the players failed to arrive as his car had broken down. I was called on to make up the team and although I did not get to bat or bowl I did take a very good one handed catch at short leg off of our left arm spinner, whose name was Mr. Foinette. Harry to the rest of the team, but ‘Sir’ to me. Some 20 years later I visited him in the West Country and we played a round of Golf. I still called him Mr. Foinette!

From scoring I graduated to play for the 3rd XI under Eric Clarke and the 2nd XI under Mickey Neale. Mickey was also Captain of Worthing Hockey Club 2nd XI and he convinced me to take up Hockey as a goalkeeper, rather than play football. Hockey had a much better social life. I wasn’t much good with a hockey stick, but goalkeeping was all about stopping and kicking the ball with your feet and body and I was reasonably good at that. I was selected for the Sussex Under 22 side, the South Under 22 and finally the England Under 22 squad. I played for the latter on four occasions and narrowly missed out on playing at Lord’s against Spain.

On the cricket field I did not play for Worthing 1st XI until 1969 and then I played until 1981 which included two seasons as Captain in 1976 and 1977. I did return for one season in the early 90s as a wicketkeeper and then for a single game in 1998 when somebody was injured at the last minute. In that game I managed to catch Richard Halsall at mid-on off the bowling of Paul Jarvis. I also played on four occasions for Sussex 2nd XI. One of which was against the Army at the Manor Ground in 1975 when I opened the bowling and took 2 for 28. I also scored the winning runs off the second ball of the last over, going in at No. 11.

Terry (Back row, 3rd in from right) 1st XI v Bexhill 1991

What’s your earliest memory of the Manor Ground?

My first memory of the Manor Ground was going there with my mother in the late 1950s to watch what I think was called the ‘Police Tattoo.’ It included Marching Bands, Acrobatic Displays, Dog Training Displays and much more. There was also a Tennis tournament played on the cricket outfield. The ground was somewhat flatter then. Did you know it was used as Allotments in the Second World War?

What do you remember of your Worthing debut?

The first Worthing CC team I played for was the Under 14 Colts. It was in 1961 and I was just coming up to my 13th birthday. The following season I captained the side and I particularly remember playing Horsham, who were captained by Richard Marshall. He remains a good friend of mine 58 years later.

My 1st XI debut was in 1969 away to Bognor in the newly formatted Sussex Inter Club Cup. Bognor batted first and made 81 all out with Ken Cracknell taking seven wickets and leg spinner David Duffield, who was Captain, the other three. I bowled four inconspicuous overs. We were 35 for 2 when the heavens opened. There was no reserve date, so a coin was tossed by the Committee and we lost!!

You played at the very beginning of League Cricket in Sussex. How did all that come about and what was the transition like?

In 1970 a Meeting was arranged at The Burrell Arms, Haywards Heath by Tony Millard and Dave Manville, who both played for the Heath. Twelve Sussex Clubs attended, Dick Crump and myself from Worthing, and the Sussex Cricket League was formed and duly started in 1971. Our first game was away to Hastings and St Leonards Priory at the Central Ground in Hastings. It was played on a Sunday as we did not normally play them. The other 10 fixtures were already part of our normal fixture list. I had one of my better batting days going in at number 7 with the score at 63 for 5, and scoring 45 as we were all out for 135. The home side struggled throughout and were all out for 79 in the last over of the day, when I trapped Tim Booth Jones LBW. The fact that it was a League match did not really feel any different to the Friendly matches of previous seasons. The games did, however, get more competitive as the season went on and we were challenging for the title. However we failed to win our last game against Three Bridges which meant we ended in second place.

The 12 teams that originally formed the League were, Bognor, Brighton & Hove, Chichester Priory Park, Eastbourne, East Grinstead, Hastings & St. Leonards Priory, Haywards Heath, Horsham, Lewes Priory, Preston Nomads, Three Bridges and Worthing. Middleton joined in 1973, Bexhill and Littlehampton in 1978 and Sidley in 1986 making 16 teams before Bognor resigned in 1995 and Crowborough replaced them a season later. Then in 1999 the League was reformatted when it became a Premier League consisting of two Divisions of Nine with St James Montefiore and Stirlands joining.

What were your favourite games for the club?

Two games in my Worthing League career come readily to mind. In 1973 a car breakdown gave me the opportunity to open the batting with Terry Gunn at Haywards Heath and I scored 132 not out and then in May 1977 Imran Khan played for us against Preston Nomads. He was moving Counties from Worcestershire to Sussex but was not allowed to play for Sussex until July of that year. A regular member of the 1st XI at that time was Kara Khan, a chemist working at Beechams, who was a very useful leg spinner. He was Imran’s cousin as was Majid Khan, who visited the Manor a few times, but never played for us. Imran scored just five runs and then bowled very quickly taking 4 for 29 from 13 overs. As just about all the fielders were behind the bat, Imran went and moved the sightscreens himself, when he decided, mid over, to bowl round the wicket. The only time that I have captained a future Prime Minister!!

Is there a season that sticks in the memory as a particular favourite and why?

The most notable season when I was playing was the first year of the League in 1969 when we were unlucky to finish second to Preston Nomads. In the years that I wasn’t playing, 1992 was memorable when we won the Sussex League Cup chasing Bexhill’s 132. From 111 for 9 Anthony Aduhene and Ian Salisbury inched their way to victory, which ended with a huge six over mid wicket from Anthony. Then in 1993 Jon Rea-Palmer captained our Under 16 side to victory at Arundel Castle over Cuckfield in the SJCF Under 16 Final. As I was Team Manager this was very special. I am still proud of those boys.

You played with and against some great players. Who stands out both for Worthing and for other clubs in the league?

During my playing and umpiring career I have been involved with a number of cricketers who had played at a higher level. Playing for Worthing there was Norman Mercer, Derek Semmence, Terry Gunn, Ken McEwan, Alan Jones, Bob Gardner (ex-Leics), Les Lenham and Paul Jarvis. For other teams there was John Snow, Tony Greig, John Edrich, Tim May, David Hussey, Meyrick Pringle, Heath Davis and Richard de Groen. One overseas player I particularly remember was the 6 foot 7 inch Australian fast bowler who played for Brighton & Hove when Dominic Clapp was their skipper. Paul Wilson, who represented his country on about 20 occasions, has now retired from playing and has become one of the top Umpires in the world. In one game I umpired at Fulking he bowled superbly from my end to achieve a match winning six wickets. One other bowler in the League, who made Umpiring worthwhile was Michael Munday who played for Horsham. I had previously come across him on a couple of occasions playing for Somerset 2nd XI. A really clever, intelligent and polite leg spinner with a number of variations. Watching him bowl was a privilege.

From a Worthing point of view David Duffield, the 1st XI captain on my debut was hugely influential when I started out. He was calm, articulate and a very good leader.

Ken Cracknell was the best Club bowler I played with or against for that matter. He was 40 when he moved to Worthing. Heaven knows what he was like when younger. In 1953 he captained the Club Cricket Conference side against the touring Australians.

The most inspirational cricketer was the ex Sussex wicketkeeper, Yorkshireman, Terry Gunn. Worthing have had some outstanding wicketkeepers. John Carter for a short while in the early 90s and latterly John Kaye. Terry Gunn was a keeper of the highest level. His presence behind the stumps was inspirational to the bowlers. It was very special playing with him.

Overall Derek Semmence has to be the best cricketer to play for our Club in my lifetime. A prolific batsman, an excellent opening bowler and a superb slip catcher. He never spoke of his own achievements. He always wanted to know what you had done. He joined the Club in 1951 as a 13 year old and scored his maiden century at 15. His highest score was 169 not out against Lewes Priory. He remains today the youngest person, aged 18 years and 3 months, to score a first class century for Sussex. It was in 1956 at Trent Bridge when he scored 108 against Nottinghamshire. In 1968 Derek was the Sussex CCC Single Wicket Champion when he defeated Ken Suttle, a Worthing resident like himself, in the Final at Hove. This took him to The Oval for the Finals Day where he was drawn against the Nottinghamshire champion. A certain Gary Sobers!! But sadly two days of rain wiped the competition out. Derek’s wife, Christine, was often at the Club and was well known for her cakes and when Derek took on the Coaching role at Hurstpierpoint College she took charge of the College shop. Derek was never capped by Sussex, but was capped for the Sussex 2nd XI, the RAF, Northumberland, Devon, the Club Cricket Conference, along with Ken Cracknell and Keith Cannon and the Sussex League, along with Terry Gunn, Keith Cannon and myself. Derek sadly passed away earlier this year and on that day we lost a true gentleman.

What are your funniest memories both on and off the field?

One of the funniest things that I can remember happened in a Midweek game which started late because of rain. On a rather wet pitch Dick Crump was bowling. Dick was an absolute stalwart of the Club and was Chairman for many years and Team Secretary for even longer. The ball was driven back towards Dick and he stamped on it in an effort to stop it. Now Dick was a very large man and his size 14 boot came down on the ball as it was crossing a very wet and muddy footmark. 90% of the ball disappeared underground and we finally had to dig it out with a stump!!

Another was when Derek Semmence was bowling. Terry Gunn was standing up to the wicket and midway through Derek’s run up Terry shuffled across to the legside. When Terry did this it was a cue for the bowler to bowl a full length delivery down the leg side, which Terry would take on the half volley and try to stump the batsman. However Derek did not see him move and bowled a fast delivery down the off and the batsman ‘shouldered arms’ to it. The ball whistled past Ken Cracknell at first slip and thudded against the sightscreen. The looks on the faces of Derek and Terry and the words they exchanged were priceless!!

There have been many characters grace our club over the years, with many of those no longer with us. Are there any you would like to make a special mention of in this article?

Worthing has always been a family Club and I would not have wanted it any other way. Families do more than provide players. They also provide Umpires, Scorers and helpful people who volunteer for the off field jobs that are needed by a Cricket Club. Peter Wood, Ken Cracknell, KC Lee and Rob Harris spring to mind as on field contributors, whilst Doreen Cracknell, Sarah Rogers, Margaret Rogers, Jo Shelford, Stella Harris, Yolanda Hinton and Marisa de Faveri have worked tirelessly off field.

The Cracknell family as a whole were omnipresent at the Manor for many years. The family moved to Worthing in the late 60s and contributed so much to the Club. Ken had been an icon at East Molesey CC and indeed still is.

Four people, besides my wife Hilary, who were such a great help to me, were Pete and Pam Johnson and the redoubtable JR with his wife Margaret. The Ladies dealt with Teas and after match Catering, Pete helped with the Bar and was forever doing odd jobs, whilst JR was always there dealing with everything and anything.

After your playing career, you became an umpire and a club/league administrator. Can you take us through some of your experiences and share your thoughts on cricket in Sussex and beyond?

In 1995 after Captaining the Worthing 3rd XI full of 15 and 16 year olds for a couple of seasons I turned to Umpiring. The Sussex League had formed a Panel of Umpires the season before and was looking for recruits. I attended a Course in the Winter with Steve Lewendon, who had recently retired from playing and captaining Worthing 2nd XI and a few months later we were donning our new white coats. 2020 is my 26th year on the Panel. I enjoyed it right from the start and in 2000 I umpired my first County 2nd XI match at Hampshire’s Rose Bowl, parts of which were still under construction. It was the first game that was played on the Main Square and Glamorgan were the visitors. The weather was indifferent and the game went into the fourth day with the home side winning. My next County 2nd XI game was at Hove where my colleague was Test Umpire David Constant. The experience was fantastic and I learnt a lot from ‘Connie.’ I had 17 seasons of Umpiring at this level before I finally called it a day, after 80 matches, at the age of 68. My eyes were not feeling as sharp as I would have liked. To Umpire with such as Tim Robinson, David Shepherd, Nigel Llong, Richard Illingworth, Neil Bainton, Neil Mallender, Darrel Hair, Martin Bodenham, Peter Willey, Dave Millns, Martin Saggers, Billy Taylor, Paul Baldwin, Ian Blackwell, Nick Cook, Ian Gould, Russ Evans, Mark Benson, Russell Warren, Ben Debenham, et al, were great times.

As for the most memorable games I umpired there were a number. In 2007 I umpired the ECB National Club Championship at Lord’s between Bromley and Kibworth, which Bromley won by 4 runs, when the Kibworth No. 11 was caught on the tavern boundary off of the last ball of the game. In 2012 I was at Lord’s again for the National Village Final between Reed CC (Herts) and Woodhouse Grange (Yorks), which Reed won by 6 wickets chasing 184. Then in 2015 I had four days at Wormsley with the full Afghanistan national squad playing Leicestershire 2nd XI. Since then I have umpired two other National teams both at the beautiful Arundel Castle. Bangladesh who were playing the Duke of Norfolk’s XI and Ireland who were playing the Sussex 1st XI in a T20.

As for off field tasks I have had quite a few over the years. I was Secretary for Worthing CC for 35 years from 1982 until 2016, Treasurer for 20 years from 1985 until 2004, elected a Life Member in 1997 and I have been President since 2016. My wife, Hilary, was elected a Life Member in 2001.

In 1997 I became Chairman of the Sussex Premier Cricket League until I stood down in 2007. Then in 2008 I became Treasurer and in 2011 Secretary and I held both posts until the League was disbanded in 2018, when it became part of the newly formed Sussex Cricket League. This was a joining together of the four cricket Leagues in Sussex under the Sussex Cricket Foundation banner. I am the current Treasurer of this new League.

In the Umpiring world I have been in charge of appointing Umpires to Sussex League matches from 2003 to date and from 2011 until 2019 I was Chairman of the Sussex Association of Cricket Officials (Sussex ACO). From 2009 to 2016 I was also in charge of Appointments for the London and East Region of the ACO, but I stood down when the ECB reorganised the Regions. I spent a year as Chairman of the new South Central Region in an effort to improve the position of the Sussex Umpires, but failed and so I resigned. Sussex had been moved from the vibrant first class dominated London Region to a backwater Region run by self centred Minor Counties.

Also since 2009 I have been part of a small ECB Group, which, in addition to certain other tasks, oversees County 2nd XI and latterly National Counties, used to be Minor Counties, umpiring appointments. The group is led by Chris Kelly, the ECB Umpires Manager and this has been the most enjoyable and interesting of all of my off field roles.

And finally one thing I am very proud of is that in 2016 I was elected a Vice President of the Sussex County Cricket Club for my work in Recreational cricket.

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Comments

  • Simon Brown

    Some great memories in there Terry!

  • Anonymous

    A delightful memoir. Sadly you did not recall your innings at Bexhill 🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣

  • Gus

    Top man Terry. All of the Burstows are great people.

  • Lutters

    Great servant to local and national cricket and a good bloke to boot! Terry was even reporting when I scored my goal for Worthing…

  • Lesley

    Great memories of happy days

  • Terry Burstow

    My last two innings in the Sussex League was 0* v Eastbourne in 1998 and 0* at Bexhill in 1991. We lost the Eastbourne game when JK was dismissed, but I saw us to a draw at Bexhill without facing a ball. I went in at number 11 with an over to go to be met by Anthony (Anonymous above). Heath Davis, a large quick bowler was to Bowl it. My partner played the first ball to third man, off the middle he said and called for a ran. Whilst he ran two I ran one backwards to Heath’s bowling mark. I laid my bat and gloves on the ground and stayed there whilst my anonymous friend played out the rest of the over. I then drove our minibus home with a memorable draw under our belt!!

  • Jez Box

    That was a really lovely read.

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