Greetings from overseas from David Willis

Once or twice a year SDCC contacts former captain David Willis, (brother of RGD and still a massive supporter of Stoke from afar), to see how he’s getting on.

The exchange is worth posting here…

DHW : Very good to hear from you and in case nobody else says it or hasn’t said it recently thanks so much for the remarkable work you guys have done, (refer Matt Gottschalk and Adrian Mills here), on the Club’s history and statistics. Have you found the match in about 1957 when the Stoke team was dismissed for 11 all out with seven extras? See you in the summer!

Well. SDCC likes a challenge and thinks he has found the game in question…

The aforementioned disaster wasn’t found in 1957, but the 10th May 1958 appears to have been an ‘interesting’ day for the club:

1st XI
v Walton-on-Thames
11 all out chasing 107 (J.Edney 8 for 2!)

2nd XI v Walton-on-Thames
59 all out chasing 129

SDCC suggested that Mickie Higgs, (7 not out!), was done a huge dis-service – who says there’s no such thing as a good 7…

David was impressed and replied…

An astonishing feat of investigation worthy of Sherlock Holmes himself.

It was indeed May 1958 against Walton-on-Thames – much too good for Stoke on the day. I remember it as if it were yesterday – Bert Ottoway was scoring – he was about 87 years old and allergic to his budgies but a very committed scorer for the Sat and Sun first teams.

Young boys used to queue up to score in those days and there was even sometimes competition to put the numbers on the scoreboard – how times have changed.

Without viewing the scorecard he had a guess at who might have been playing and made a pretty good attempt…

How many Higgs were playing, probably both Mickey and Peter the bowler.

Their Dad, a truly awful umpire, may have been standing but he wasn’t allowed too many first team matches. He would appeal as loudly as his son Peter on some occasions and his confirmation “Yes that’s out son” as he raised the finger would cause a few raised eyebrows amongst opposition batsmen.

Let me guess Bert Roberts would have been opening, Cyril Viney might have been playing, Chris Goode possibly and Barry Martin but they tended to play on Sundays when the team was stronger. Mickey Bolton perhaps, Phil Johnson, ah such a long time ago.

It’s good to hear that the Club is developing, resisting offers for further mergers especially with weaker clubs.

I hope to be in the UK for most of July so I shall certainly try to look in and say hello to you all.

Very best wishes!

If anyone wants to get in contact with David, please e-mail STOKECC@HOTMAIL.COM and we’ll forward your details on.

Links :

David’s Stoke Stats :

Click here for Bob’s :