Chairman's Blog

Stragglers will be very sad learn of the death of George Denny, well known local church architect and a Straggler whose playing days were (mostly) in the nineteen sixties, and one who remained a supporter of the club for many years thereafter.  There will be many senior Stragglers who will also recall George as a somewhat idiosyncratic umpire, in the mould of the founder, but perhaps with a slightly less itchy trigger finger.

George burst on the Straggler scene as an opening bowler generating meaningful pace, when he made his debut in the summer of 1962 against Lower Hardres and Nackington to return career best figures of 6 for 28.  In the ’62 season, he finished with 12 wickets for 201, which placed him third in the averages (topped that year by one PJC Smallwood).  George continued in much the same vein through the rest of the decade, with the 1965 season one of particular success, with 6 for 66 at Saltwood and 5 for 55 against Torry Hill.  In spite of finishing with an average of under 12 for the season, he again finished in third place.  The ball was king in the first three Straggler decades.  George finished his career with the ball having bowled 197 overs, 37 maidens and taken 38 wickets for 740, an average of 19.47.

George spent less time at the crease as a batsman, another regular at the tail of the Straggler batting order, although he was clearly not that easy to dislodge.  His best innings looks to have been a hard fought 27 against Leeds, in a Straggler line up which included a number of other candidates for the number 11 slot.  In a low scoring game, he top-scored for the Stragglers and his innings made the difference.  He subsequently took the final wicket to secure victory.

After a long gap between Straggler appearances, George turned out for the Stragglers once more in 1985 to participate in a heavy defeat at Benenden.  He bowled a couple of overs without success and managed to hold up defeat with 13 runs contributing to a battling final wicket stand.  He scored 77 runs for the Stragglers in 15 innings at an average of 8.56.

George umpired many Straggler games following retirement as a player, and was always a welcome sight, offering occasional wise advice, or subsequent commiserations to those whose stay at the crease he had brought to an end.