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Yorkshire and Scarborough former paceman Bill Foord dies

— 9 July 2015

The death occurred at his Scarborough home earlier this week of former Yorkshire fast medium bowler, Bill Foord, at the age of 91.

Bill played in 51 first class matches for Yorkshire between 1947-1953, claiming 126 wickets at 27.07 runs apiece, and he was one of the first of the great Fred Trueman’s bowling partners with the county.

But he will always be remembered as one of Scarborough Cricket Club’s most loyal servants – and one of their greatest ever bowlers. In a playing career at North Marine Road which spanned 30 years from 1941-71 he captured 1,071 wickets at an average of 15.07.

Until the very end of his life, he was passionately interested in the development of young Scarborough cricketers. He coached the youngsters himself for many years and around 20 years ago he founded and funded the Bill Foord Cricket Coaching Scholarship Scheme, a three-year course which currently has over 40 young players on its books.

Bill was an honorary life member of Scarborough Cricket Club as well as being their senior vice-president.

  • Bill (pictured right) sat with Ted Lester at his birthday celebrations at Scarborough Cricket Club.

    A single man, Bill had lived alone since the death of his sister, Betty, about 20 years ago. His association with Scarborough CC had begun at a very early age and the family home was on the corner of Dean Road and Clifton Street, just a stone’s throw from the ground.

    A splendidly accurate bowler who wasted little energy in his short run-up, Bill had the ability to move the ball both ways and he may well have enjoyed a longer career with Yorkshire had he not decided to continue his teaching career rather than trying to attain professional status with his native county.

    He taught for most of his working life at Friaridge Infants and Primary School in Scarborough and his work commitments prevented him from turning out for Yorkshire on a regular basis.

    On his Yorkshire debut against Hampshire he took 1-67 while Bill Bowes captured 5-52 and in the second innings he claimed 3-67. Six years later, the sides met again at Bournemouth in the last Championship match of the season and this time he enjoyed his career-best return of 6-63, Yorkshire going on to win by an innings and 45 runs.

    It also proved to be Bill’s last match in what was his most successful season with 62 wickets at 25.83 apiece. During his career he took five wickets or more in an innings on five occasions.

    Scarborough CC secretary, Colin Adamson, said: “Bill, like Ted Lester who died earlier this year, was a Scarborough man through and through and had been closely associated with our club since boyhood. He will be very much missed.

    Scarborough CC chairman and Yorkshire CCC vice-president, Bill Mustoe, said: “Bill was a great cricketer with the club and a wonderful champion of youngsters playing cricket in the area. He founded and funded the Bill Foord Coaching Scheme which he has run for many years. He was known and respected as a very good cricketer but, above all, as a true gentleman.

    “He embodied cricket as some still remember it being played in the 1940s and 1950s – as a social event with a code of conduct.