It is with great sadness that I have to report the passing of another Straggler who bestrode the cricket fields of Kent in the 1980’s in Straggler colours. Hugh Blenkin burst on to the Straggler scene to dominate the batting for his first three seasons, with centuries in 1980, 1981 and 1982; he ushered in the “age of the bat”. His undefeated 136 against the President’s XI in 1980 was then the highest individual Straggler score, and remained so until surpassed by Tony Monteuuis in 1982. Hugh went on to make big hundreds with 119 against WF Sale’s XI in 1981 and 125 against the Trogs in 1982. As all three of the teams against whom Hugh scored centuries contained some Straggler bowling, he clearly found it to his liking.
In a career that lasted for 12 seasons, Hugh was leading run-scorer in 1980 and 1982, topping the averages on both occasions with 75.00 and 64.40 respectively, still the 5th and 9th highest average for a season. He scored 1302 runs in 44 innings for the Stragglers and ended with a career average of 33.83, 24th on the all-time list. His final game for the Stragglers came in 1991, when he captained the Club at Goodnestone (in the days when we had two games over the August bank holiday weekend). Hugh was an occasional bowler, with 69 overs propelled in 8 seasons, taking 13 wickets at a very creditable average of 25.85. He held on to 19 outfield catches.
A very large congregation of friends and family gathered to hear highlights of Hugh’s wide sporting prowess, exceptional career in the Police and wonderful family memories at the Memorial Service in Ashford on April 9th. He will be missed by many.