Sporting Obituary

By Tim Mansfield

Ronnie Boyd (1935-2014) Warton and Carnforth

Sporting Obituary
Ronald (Ronnie) Boyd 1935-2024

Most commonly known as ‘Boydy’, the death of Ronnie Boyd marks the passing of a man with an uncommonly natural sporting talent - he was a champion in cricket, football, table tennis and crown green bowls.

Arriving in Warton village from Manchester in 1950, he soon made his mark on the cricket field with 42 not out as a 15 year old in 1951 and an astonishing 7 for two as a 16 year old before the Warton second team folded. With no chance for a first team place in 1953 Ronnie moved to Carnforth CC.

As if to say “I told you so”, the second game of the season saw him facing Warton first team. R. Boyd finished with 7 for 13 including the last three wickets in five balls. It wouldn't be the last time Ronnie would return to haunt his old club. Also, during that season playing for Carnforth he bowled 18 overs taking 2/71 against Millom at Barrow in the club’s first appearance in a Higson cup final.

In his two years of national service, football was his main sporting outlet. In May of 1955 Ronnie starred as an inside forward as his East Yorkshire regiment won the coveted Guards’ Brigade Cup in Dusseldorf.

Returning to Blighty in 1956 it was the winter game with Carnforth Rangers and Carnforth CC in summer. It was wickets aplenty with the 2nd team which included 9 for 27 against Grange in 1957 and a 50 wicket season in 1958 much to the chagrin of his home village. Carnforth 2nds and Warton were frontrunners for promotion to Division One of the Westmorland Cricket Keague. In the head-to-head Warton was 60 for five in pursuit of 78 to win. Bowling like a man possessed boy Boydy took 6 for 29 including a hat trick to win the game by one run. Although both teams gain promotions that defeat cost Warton the championship. Insult added to injury.
Ronnie's football career was seen out with the short-lived British Railways Sports Association FC who joined the North Lancashire League in Division Three in 1960/61 and finished in Division One in 1965/66. Pre national service Ronnie had been a trialist at Stockport County. In 1962/he was the BRSAFC player of the year. His trademark manoeuvre was a drop of the shoulder and a swivel of the hips leaving defender for dead.

The hatchet was buried in 1960. The prodigal son was welcomed home to Warton CC to start a bowling partnership which terrorised the Westmoreland Cricket League for a decade. So potent was the Ronnie Boyd and David Rucastle combo they were dubbed “those terrible twins” by the press. Between 1960 and 1970 they averaged 85 wickets a season and on four occasions passed the magical mark of 100 wickets in a season. Ronnie took 861 wickets for Warton CC including 46 five-fors with a best of 9 for 27 against Cartmel in 1967. If his tally of wickets for Carnforth over those 5 seasons is added, there is little doubt that Ronnie Boyd is 1000 wicket man.

With the bat he scored 6292 runs the Warton CC which included ten 50s. Ronnie was a regular 40 run man in the middle order which is where his most telling contributions came in the championship season of 1980. With defeat looming cometh the hour cometh the man and his 74 not out won a vital game that season. Repayment for that 1958 game some said. Such was his all round skills Ronnie was regularly picked for representative games between 1963 and 1974.

In winter boredom was assuaged and hand and eye kept in sync playing table tennis for his work team Libby's of Milnthorpe. They were league champions in 1968/9. Naturally.
The transition from cricket field to bowling green was seamless for Boydy. He was soon captain of Warton BC and equally as as soon recognised as a top rank exponent in the local leagues. After years of being a cricket widow Ronnie’s wife Doreen partnered her husband in the mixed doubles. They became the feared power pair in local bowls competitions. The year 2003 says it all. They reached nine finals, winning five. “Boyds Plunder Prizes” was one headline. In that same year Warton won the prestigious Visitor competition. He was a truly remarkable sportsman.
John Glaister

Where next?

Westmorland Cricket League secures three-year sponsorship deal with ICS Accounting The Westmorland Cricket League is delighted to announce that it has secured a deal with local accountancy firm ICS Accounting for them to become our main sponsor for the next three years ahead of an exciting 2024 season.

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