Ex-Suffolk cricketer and coach celebrates 90th birthday

FORMER record-breaking Suffolk cricketer Dickie Mayes celebrated his 90th birthday on Sunday.

He played 53 times for Suffolk, scored 729 runs for the county in the 1959 season, which at the time was the most ever recorded by a Suffolk batsman.

Mayes, who was born in Littleborn in Kent, played 80 matches for first-class county Kent between 1947 and 1953, scoring 2,689 runs at an average of 19.62 with a highest score of 134. He scored four centuries in total and took 28 catches.

He also played as a part-time professional footballer for Ramsgate between 1947 and 1951.

After he was released by Kent he subsequently moved from Canterbury to Suffolk in 1957 and was offered a job at Woolverstone Hall School. Within a year he was head groundsman and cricket coach, a job he held for 30 years.

He made his debut for Suffolk in the same year and scored 2,786 runs at an average of 30.61, with a highest score of 106 for his adopted county.

Mayes retired from Woolverstone Hall in 1986, but continued to live in nearby Chelmondiston with wife Violet, who celebrated her 89th birthday on Saturday. Violet previously worked at Woolverstone Hall as a house matron and the couple will have been married for 69 years in December.

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Son Brian, who also played for Suffolk from 1969-1980, and his wife Susan now live in Hull but they travelled down earlier this week to visit Dickie and Violet, who are now residing at Spring Lodge care home in Chelmondsiton.

The oldest living former first-class cricketer in the country is Cyril Perkins, who played for Northamptonshire before becoming Suffolk’s all-time leading wicket-taker.

Perkins, who still lives in Ipswich and celebrated his 101st birthday in June, played in the same Suffolk side as Mayes.

Son Brian said: “My parents were great friends with Cyril and his wife, and it is quite unique that they are both still living so near each other.”

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