Monday, February 10, 2014

ANOTHER QUIET PASSING...

I greeted the announcement of the death of Bernard Hedges not just with sadness at the passing of yet another boyhood hero but also it seemed to me to signal yet again the passing of those days when quiet, unassuming sportsmen went about their business shunning the limelight and, like Bernard, keeping their undoubted talent almost to themselves.  Those were the days before any unsocial media and perhaps the only image rights that came Bernard`s way were via the cards which, as a boy, I garnered from packets of Turf cigarettes discarded by a school chum`s father.

They were also the days before the up-market, up-tempo, commercially driven extravaganzas that diminish the spirit of cricket today and which are a far cry from the minimal exposure of the exploits of Bernard and his Glamorgan team mates.  Indeed, I remember picking up snippets about Bernard and other heroes - Harold Gimblett, Derek Shackleton, Horace Hazell, Vic Cannings and all those others - brought to life by the Basingstoke burr of John Arlott on our crackly Cossor radio.

Bernard Hedges left us peacefully on Saturday at the age of 86 from his home in the Mumbles, Swansea.  He had an 18-year career in first class cricket, amassing nearly 18,000 runs with 21 centuries in his 422 appearances for Glamorgan.   He wrote his name into the club`s record books in 1963 by scoring the county`s first ever century in a one-day game with an unbeaten 103 as well as taking two wickets and two catches against Somerset in their Gillette Cup match at Cardiff Arms Park.   Moreover, when the cricket season came to an end, he excelled too at Rugby, playing for Swansea RFC after playing for Pontypridd whilst still at school.

And so another hero of my youth leaves us quietly - perhaps too quietly for he and others like him deserve to be remembered more widely - and with him goes yet another from those quieter times, from those days of boyhood innocence and from a world that faded all too quickly.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Bernard Hedges was my Dad. It was lovely to read your blog about his passing. He was part of a different generation of sportsmen. I am currently researching in order to write a book about my Dads sporting life and the walk around Wales I undertook in his memory.
If you want to find out about the walk, you can read my blog at theboundaryofwales.wordpress.com
You will be pleased to know that the book will focus on the 1961 season. Dad reached his highest total of 2026 runs. Three Hampshire batsmen out scored him that season . Roy Marshall was one. Hampshire won the County Championship that year.

Snopper said...

Thank you so much for your kind comments and I am seriously impressed by your heroic walk around Wales - I`m enjoying reading through your blog and if I can find out how, I would like to get in touch with you via that.