Chesterfield Cricket Lovers' Society

The photo shows Fred Rumsey and Stephen Chalke

The photo shows (L-R) David Marshall, Fred Rumsey, Stephen Chalke, Martin Willows and Bob Sargeant

The photo shows a general view of the members

Photos courtesy of John Windle


The Society welcomed Fred Rumsey back to Derbyshire to speak at their first lunchtime meeting – held at Chesterfield FC’s SMH Stadium. A capacity audience enjoyed a great meal followed by Fred being skilfully interviewed by the well-known cricket book author and publisher, Stephen Chalke.

Fred, now a sprightly 88 years of age and still with a twinkle in his eye reflecting a real character with a life well lived, captivated members from the start. Stephen Chalke did an excellent job of guiding Fred to tell stories from his book ‘Sense of Humour, Sense of Justice’. Very proud of his five-match test career, between 1964 and 1965, he was wearing an England tie with the number 425, indicating that he was the 425th person to represent England. In 147 years only 711 people have achieved that honour and Fred was rightly pleased to be part of this illustrious company.

His talk was full of humour and the insights of the life of a cricketer, both on and off the field were well illustrated by a host of stories. Fred is a raconteur of the highest order, easily making his audiences laugh but equally being very reflective about the difficulties he encountered, particularly the difficulties of the professional / amateur divide and the lack of coaching provided. The exception to the lack of coaching was when Roy Tattersall, Fred’s predecessor as captain at Kidderminster CC suggested he was holding the ball in the wrong way and hence his inability to swing the ball. After practising this change in the nets Fred tried it in a first-class match – at Queen’s Park. here in Chesterfield, he took eleven wickets in the match.

In a long county career with Worcestershire, Somerset and Derbyshire, Fred took over 700 wickets, the bulk of them for Somerset. His lasting legacy to cricket, however, was the setting up of The County Cricketers Association, that was the original title of the PCA. He gave many examples of the improvements to the pay and conditions he was able to introduce at the start of the Association and his innovation has benefited many cricketers up to the present time.

The easy relationship between Fred and Stephen and the way they work with each other enhanced the event even further - indeed some members thought that these exchanges were amongst the highlights of the meeting!

The feedback from members was tremendously positive and everyone thoroughly enjoyed a wonderful afternoon.

Neil Swanwick, the Society Chairman, had the most difficult job of the afternoon in attempting to end the meeting. Fred and Stephen have the reputation of being the Ken Dodds of the cricket speakers world – they never want to finish – and the members were very happy for them to continue!

A really good first lunchtime meeting for the society – enhanced by the staff of Chesterfield FC.

Copyright © 2004-2017 Chesterfield Cricket Lovers' Society and CricketArchive CricketArchive Chesterfield Cricket Lovers' Society