Chairman's Blog

Guy Yerburgh, Lord Alvingham passed away on 29th March at the age of 93, the oldest surviving Straggler.  He had been encouraged by Wyndham Fletcher to play Straggler cricket, while serving at the Small Arms School in Hythe shortly after the founding of the Club.  In fact, the Small Arms School was the opposition in the very first fixture in 1946, from which the Shepway Stragglers emerged.

In a short but stellar Straggler career, Guy first played in the glory season of 1952, when the Stragglers carried almost all before them.  Guy made his debut in May against Elham, scoring an undefeated 47, and then went on to carry his bat for an undefeated century (100*) against the Bluemantles, the 5th Straggler century.  He scored 336 runs at an average of 33.60, only just pipped for both the leading run scorer and top of the averages in 1952 by Jim Woodhouse.

The report in the “books” for 1953 leads with “The outstanding performance was in the batting of Yerburgh, who was easily the most successful batsman we have ever had”.  With 491 runs at an average of 40.92 and top score of 94*, he set standards one of which was not exceeded for 44 years.  Although Jim Woodhouse bettered the average for a season in 1954 (with 52.13), it was not until Matthew Schilder in 1997 that any Straggler scored more runs in a season; Guy still sits at seven in the all-time list.

Guy only played a handful more games thereafter, with a final appearance in 1962.  His Straggler career brought him 894 runs in 31 innings at an average of 35.76.  He took 8 outfield catches, and bowled 24 occasional overs, taking 2 for 100.  With Jim Woodhouse as partner, Guy held the record for the third wicket partnership (137* against Selsted) also for 44 years, to be overtaken by Matthew Schilder and Giles Brealy, who put Boughton-under-Blean very firmly to the sword in 1997.  Lord Alvingham’s Straggler career came to an end in a tight game at Bethersden, in which he scored a modest 20.

And, of course, Lord Alvingham’s batting is remembered in John Burley’s “Straggler Alphabet”; A is for Alvingham, record holder proud”.