Devon County Seniors' continues to grow in numbers and stature year on year. We now run O'50's 1st & 2nd XI's, O'60's 1st & 2nd XI's, an O'70's and a Friendly XI.
Nets are arranged at the Exeter University Sports Hall each April and pre-season trial matches are arranged. You will also see from our archives that we have been lucky enough to tour various countries in the past and continue to offer this opportunity to all senior players and their wives/partners.
We enjoy very competitive, yet sociable matches against varied opposition from across the country and compete well against the best teams in the land!
We are always on the look-out for new players of all abilities who wish to represent the county or simply enjoy a game of cricket with like- minded (and aged!) players. Please contact one of our officials if you would like a chance of earning a County call up or to find out how to get involved.
Sponsor Keith White MBE (centre) chairman of Michael Spiers Jewellers
Dave Gambie (Club President)
Devon Seniors cricket started in the late 1980’s organised county wide by the ECB. They wanted to encourage players who were attaining age 50 and older to keep playing competitive cricket thereby preserving a valuable pool of talent that otherwise might be lost to the game.
Devon Seniors Over 50’s X1 under Gerald Parsons (Tavistock CC) were early participants and won the national final around 1990 although this might be a little inaccurate since there are no records to refer to (internally or via ECB). Players were recruited by the captain and with games being played mainly mid-week this restricted availability. There was never any suggestion in those early years that a formal club structure should be introduced.
Vaughan Hoskins (Torquay CC) took over the reins of the side around 1995 with yours truly becoming involved in 1996 having reached the magic ‘milestone’. Some of the other players that I can recall from Vaughan’s era were: Barry Matthews (Ex Captain of Devon CCC and Torquay CC), Terry Doyle (well known for his female following and ex. Kingsbridge CC, Torquay CC with others in between), Colin Lever (Sandford CC), Gerry Keen (Yelverton CC), Danny Webber (Plymouth Civil Service CC), Stuart Lott (Paignton CC),Andy and Bruce Ellet (Exmouth CC)and, of course, Chris Theedom to name just a few.
As mentioned elsewhere, Chris ‘Theeds’ Theedom ascended to the ‘throne’ of seniors’ cricket in 2002 and was immediately successful in landing the national trophy. This was against the mainly ex-professional players of Lancashire and in their own back yard. It was this success and his determination to forge a continuation of successful sides set against a background of reduced funding for the competition that prompted the official formation of Devon Seniors Over 50’s Cricket Club. Willing volunteer officials and donations were quickly forthcoming and so a new era of seniors’ cricket in Devon was born based around a re-modelled Constitution setting out the club’s modus operandi. The club was re-named Devon County Seniors Cricket Club in 2009 when we joined the Spitfire (now) Seevent National Over 60’s County competition.
From such humble beginnings we have been able to build and continue to build a strong and vibrant organisation.
We now offer competitive county cricket at various age levels. Furthermore, for those players with drive and ambition there is the opportunity to represent England and play international cricket, both home and away. This last chance to be an ‘international sportsman’ is offered at both Over 60’s and Over 70’s age groups. Presently, players who have achieved international honours at Over 60’s level are: Bob Eames, Chris Theedom (‘Theeds’), Stuart Lott and Pete Rose. Both Stuart Lott and Dave Gambie have played at Over 70’s level.
The club has been privileged to entertain various Australian national and State Over 60’s sides. In 2017, we hosted a touring party from British Columbia on their first trip to England.
So successful has the club become that we now run two sides within the national Over 50 competitions and two sides in the national Over 60’s competitions
In 2017 we commenced an Over 67’s side to play friendly but competitive matches against local counties and completed the season undefeated.
New for 2018 is the formation of a club side playing friendly cricket on Sundays under the captaincy of Peter Shephard (‘Sheps’). The committee had recognised the need to provide additional cricket in view of the growing interest in seniors’ cricket.
But, we recognise it is not all about cricket although no doubt this is the ‘glue’ that binds us together. Whilst we endeavour to play on the best grounds around the county, and we are extremely grateful to all the clubs that offer us their facilities willingly, what we achieve off the field is equally important. In addition to building a reputation for fair play and the good spirit in which the game is played great importance is placed on the social side of cricket. This is especially important these days when taking into account the benefits of maintaining physical fitness and interaction with other people. Ageing and retirement can be daunting for many senior club players as cricket clubs place increasing emphasis on younger players. Becoming a member of our club enables the older player to continue with a loved sport and the ability to shine because you play with and against your peers. The benefits this offers for both a person’s health and wellbeing are enormous as evidenced by many research projects published recently.
We hold an annual Dinner and Awards evening and this is enjoyed by the players and their partners. Tours are frequently undertaken and many friendships have been borne from these. To-date the club has toured Barbados, twice to South Africa, Sri Lanka and Canada as well as visiting Kenya; all brilliantly organised historically by ‘Theeds’ and Stuart and Katy Lott. It is hoped that into the near future we will tour India.
We are the only county that structures itself along the lines of a club rather than as some type of ‘secret society’ formed for the gratification of a few. We are an ‘open’ society with a Constitution that permits any member to attend and contribute to committee meetings with all minutes being posted on our website for all to read.
We are envied by many for this openness, our democratic selection policy and financial stability. We have led the way in creating the first dedicated and independent website of any seniors’ cricket county and hope that all of our members find the content interesting and informative. The committee actively encourages members to be pro-active and submit ideas, copy, photos etc. to keep the site alive and fresh. Who knows what might follow; Twitter and Facebook links whatever these are!
Looking to the future, the growing interest in sport for older people will see the current national county set-up inevitably expand to accommodate demand. DCSCC is ready, willing and able to expand to meet this demand for our county. Who knows, an Over 80’s county set-up must surely be on the cards. Also, there will be increasing interest in woman’s cricket and the club expansion in this direction will follow. I would encourage any present senior lady cricketers to get in touch with me.
Finally, without the successful stewardship of our chairman, ‘Theeds’ from 2002-2017 the club would not be in the position it is today. His drive, attention to detail, organisational skills, and at times, sheer bl**dy mindedness, has made the club what it has become today. His retirement from the position at the 2017 AGM was a sad day but every club member wished him well and hoped to continue playing with him in 2018.
The late Stan Newell was our first President and a fine quick bowler in his day before retiring from the Met Police and moving to Devon in the late 1970’s. A right cockney, Stan had the ‘gift of the gab’ and sense of humour to go with it and kept everyone entertained despite failing health. However, he always took a keen interest in how our club was progressing and willing to assist whenever he could. He is a hard act to follow but I can assure members that for as long as you can tolerate me the club will have my full commitment and attention as both President and acting chairman.
I wish all teams and the club every success for future campaigns.