Tony Jones - A Cricketing Obituary

By Tim Mansfield

John Glaister’s tribute to Tony.

Anthony (Tony) Jones 1947-2023

The sudden death of the highly respected Tony Jones has rocked the local cricketing world. A one- club man he played all his cricket for Warton between 1963 and 1999. Today he would be called a bits and pieces cricketer, but that would be demeaning with reference to Tony. He was a batting all-rounder in its true sense and a first name on any team sheet.

A career total of 7074 runs and 361 wickets only tells part of his story. Tony was a captain's go to man. His 7-39 against the all conquering Burneside team saw him unplayable, and when asked to open the batting against Cartmel in the 1980 Championship season Tony obliged with his top career score of 68.

The ubiquitous nature of his cricket extended to his love of fielding. Taking a catch or saving runs with a diving stop would be pleasure enough for his contribution to a game. In a Tower Shield match in 1966 against Morecambe Tony took a catch at square leg which otherwise would have decapitated him. Teammates just stood agog.

Tony’s year as captain in 1982 proved to be unique in the history of Warton CC. On top of the League programme, five cup competitions were entered. Win after win followed. In total 20 League games were matched by 20 knockout games. The end of season saw three cup finals and several marriages close to breaking point.

As a team man and a committee man, Tony repaid the club for the many hours of pleasure it had given him by returning the favour. As general factotum days were spent on groundworks and on the administrative side of the club. For his commitment to Warton Cricket Club he was awarded life honours in 2007.

That particular form of recognition extended to the same award being bestowed by the Westmorland Cricket League just last year. After his playing days he became an umpire in 2000 and promptly came to be regarded as a fine exponent of that office. It is no exaggeration to say that he was one of the best umpires local village cricket has ever seen commanding as he did the respect of players and his fellow officials alike. A new umpire would be given Tony as a colleague in an early game and his wise counsel was appreciated by them all.

Where next?

Hackney & Leigh Trophy 2024 Who can stop Burneside winning for the third year running?
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