Age no barrier as Barry plans to soon be back on the roller
PUBLISHED: 11:45 06 March 2019 | UPDATED: 12:08 06 March 2019
Barry Dawson is most certainly the kind of chap that every cricket club must yearn for.
At 93 years young, Barry is still a regular at the Maer ground home of Exmouth Cricket Club where he looks after the rolling of the square and the outfield.
Barry, and his good wife Shirley – herself an octogenarian – are active members of the cricket club.
They have two sons, Ray and Bob, with the latter playing out his final campaign for Exmouth last season.
Barry’s time with the club dates back to when he joined the Maer men in 1956 as a layer and he was soon to take on the role of fixture secretary. Six years after Barry took on the role, the Devon League was formed. As a player, Barry was a bowler in the 1st XI and, like all true clubmen, as he grew older he stepped down to eventually play at all levels for Exmouth CC. Indeed, just as so many of his kind do, he continued playing well into his 60’s and this, of course, meant he could turnout in Exmouth XIs alongside sons Ray and Bobby.
Barry’s wife Shirley says: “Barry is not one for the spotlight – he much prefers to help out where he can and simply get on with it!
“In terms of his efforts at the Maer ground, Barry has never been in charge of anything. Like most clubs, Exmouth has a working party of loyal volunteers doing general maintenance twice a week. Barry had to give up playing his part in that a couple of years ago, but he likes nothing more then to go along during the season and spend time on the roller helping where he can.”
Shirley continues: “Cricket always played a big part of our lives. I used to run a seven-bedroom guest house for many years and we had a couple of holiday flats, but we always found time for cricket. Indeed, in our guest house days it was quite the norm for Barry to return from work and head off to the nets with a then young Bobby to keep out of the way whilst the evening meal was served to the residents!
“We have had many enjoyable times watching Bobby play for Gloucestershire and Devon. Probably two of our great cricketing memories have to be when they won a match in Wales – a game that Devon had seemed, for so long, to be losing and then, in that game, Bobby got a double hundred. Then there was the time Devon defeated Berkshire at Lords when we won the Minor County trophy and Bobby was named Man of the Match.”
Despite son Bobby hanging up his pads in terms of 1st XI league cricket at the end of last season, Shirley is sure that nothing will change for her husband when the new season begins in a couple of months’ time.
She says: “I am sure that Barry will once again be sat on the roller and helping out where he can. These days we do retain busy lives built around helping to fetch grandsons from school two or three times a week. Mind you, it’s not unusual for the grandsons to go along to the Maer with Barry, so we are nurturing along the next generation of cricketers!”