• High Wycombe CC
  • Almost Photo: Sportsshots.org.uk
  • 1st team in action at a cold Aston Rowant Photo: Sportsshots.org.uk
  • Great catch Burden. Photo: Sportsshots.org.uk
  • Chesham CC
  • Well caught sir. Jason Harrison, ever the gentleman. Photo: sportsshots.org.uk
  • Safe pair of hands - Gary Park Photo: Sportsshots.org.uk

John Goodman

Published: Wednesday, 13 November 2019

With the passing of John Goodman, cricket has lost a devoted and diligent servant. He played the game for a year as a 15-year-old but, in his own words “was hopeless so decided I had reached my peak and retired”. However, to the great benefit ogoodmanJohn Goodman, being presented with his 'cap' by Ron Headley for reaching 500 grounds scored at in 2018f the game, he continued to score, ultimately recording more than 3,000 matches over a 63-year career; during a match in 2018, our Over 60s Manager presented him with a celebratory cap to mark the 500th ground at which he had scored. As you may deduce from this fact, John kept detailed records of all his scoring activities; as well as his beloved Chipperfield (now Chipperfield Clarendon), of which he was a past-President, and Old Merchant Taylors (of which he was an Honorary Life Member), these included the Club Cricket Conference, Bucks CCC 1st XI and Bucks CCC Over 50s, 60s and 70s matches. He also scored many of their matches for the Australian Crusaders whenever they toured in England and this gave him many friends in Australia and led to several visits during their summers; he became good friends with the ex-Test Umpire Darrell Holt, who recalls that on one of these visits “he was a catalyst in organising the Victorian Cricket Association's Umpires Association to also include Scorers within our Association”.

 

In addition to scoring, John was a tireless worker on the committees, not only of Chipperfield, but for several other organisations. He was Fixtures Secretary of the Lee 75 League when it and the Three Counties League merged with the Thames Valley League in 1992. He immediately became Fixtures Secretary of the now very large Thames Valley League and later the Home Counties Premier League from its inception in 2000, serving in this capacity (as well as from time to time others) for both leagues until his death. I was very grateful to him for stepping into the breach as our Membership Secretary for Bucks CCC in 2002 and 2003 and he put as much effort into this as he did everything else. In his earlier years, he was a well-liked and respected referee in the West Herts. Football League and he later served on its management committee for many years. He once told me that he had at one time contemplated marriage but had concluded that it would interfere too much with his sporting activities!

His working career was spent as an administrator for what became British Rail and he acquired a life-long passion for the UK railway system. When scoring an away match for our 1st XI he would often opt to travel by train, taking some tortuous route, in order to pass through a station for the first time and he would undertake similar journeys in the winter; if there remains any station which he has not visited in England, Wales or Scotland, then it only opened in the last few months.

Somehow among all this, he found time to contribute to his local community in Sarratt, where he helped to organise the annual Christmas lunch for elderly inhabitants and was responsible for monitoring the state of footpaths in the area for the District Council.

In all the years that I knew John, I never heard a single bad word about him. He was a kind and generous soul and would help anyone in any way that he could. At the start of the recent cricket season, he contracted a lung infection and spent a short time in hospital, but the treatment appeared effective and by mid-season he seemed on the mend. Sadly, the infection returned with a vengeance some weeks ago and eventually proved too much; he passed away in hospital on Tuesday 12th November, aged 75.

Kevin Beaumont