Chairman's Blog

AJP ‘Jim’ Woodhouse was one of the greats of the Shepway Stragglers, and his passing at Easter 2014 is a sad day for the Club.  Jim’s achievements with bat span a 30 year Straggler career, beginning with a single innings (12*) in 1949, and came to a close with four modest outings in 1979.  In between those bookends, Jim bestrode the cricket fields of Kent, setting a plethora of club records and Straggler firsts, many of which were only superseded some thirty years after Jim had dominated the crease.  And only 9 Straggler batsmen have made their way out to the middle more often than Jim’s 133 innings.

Jim scored 3,907 Straggler runs (5th in the all time list) at an average of 35.20 (17th); he was the fourth to 1,000 runs, and second to the Straggler double of 1,000 runs and 100 wickets, and his first Straggler century (100 vs Tenterden) in 1952 was the third scored by a Straggler.  He went on to score two more centuries (116* vs Highland Court in 1954, and 106* vs Ashford in 1955), becoming the first Straggler to score 3 tons, a feat not equalled for 27 years, when Hugh Blenkin scored his third in 1982.

Jim was leading run scorer five times between 1952 and 1967 (only Wyndham and Peter Canney have bettered that with 6).  He exceeded 50 as an average for the season on three occasions, the first in 1954 (52.13), raising the bar twice more in 1958 (54.80) and 1967 (55.25), before finally being overtaken as the leading batsman in a Straggler season in 1980, again by Hugh Blenkin.

Jim’s bowling career did not last as long, taking his first wicket in 1950, and handing over to younger men in 1964.  With a career total of 129 wickets (average 17.13), Jim sits 13th in the all time list, and was 6th to reach 100 wickets in 1958.

Jim held 43 outfield catches, and managed 2 catches and a stumping as an occasional keeper.
The 2013 season was the most successful Straggler season since 1952 (leading batsman in 1952 AJPW, of course), and it was a particular pleasure for the Club to recognise Jim’s achievements, with his attendance at the pre-season drinks party the week before Easter.  Rarely do such as Jim pass this way, and it has been a privilege to have shared his company.
Innings NO Runs HS Average
133 22 3907   116* 35.20
Overs Maidens Runs Wickets Average
737 163 2210   129 17.13