HUBERT DOGGART 18 July 1925 – 16 February 2018
AVE ATQUE VALE
A celebration of Hubert's life will be held in Chichester Cathedral, on Friday 27th April, at 2pm. Donations may be made to Arundel Castle Cricket Foundation
There are some pieces that you wish that you never had to write and this is one of them. When Bill Allen phoned with the news of Hubert’s passing, it brought, along with the great feeling of sadness, memories of other telephone calls, Emails, hand-written letters and conversations in person with a real man of cricket.
Cricket was only a part of an extraordinary life but ever-present in his thoughts. I chose the above photograph to remember him by instead of a more formal portrait because it seemed to sum up everything about the force of nature that Hubert was. It shows him at the Book of the Year Awards Dinner at his beloved Lord’s in 2014, where he was the keynote speaker. Now, when Hubert was a speaker at any occasion, he simply took over the whole proceedings but no one ever complained. Vic Marks, who as Chairman of BOTY judges was in nominal charge, was as delighted, as is obvious above, as were all present when Hubert embarked on one of his wide-ranging essays on all things cricket.
Later that year, still as a stripling of 89, Hubert enthralled a December’s afternoon audience with a tour de force of reminiscences and tales of heroes and villains, although no one was ever really a villain in Hubert’s eyes. He gave a complete display of erudition, self-deprecation, good humour that enraptured the entire audience. It was Keith Summerfield who said that “it brought back the halcyon days of The Cricket Society” and Hubert, as a past President was perhaps the most diligent and courteous man to ever occupy that post.
There will be other more complete obituaries with details of his prodigious cricketing and educational career but this is a time for a more personal view. I, like most who met Hubert, will be experiencing a sense of personal loss and feel that they have lost a friend. Hubert’s life was more than touched with personal tragedy but even as he entered his tenth decade, he was ever-ready to defend his contemporaries who were not around to defend themselves and to uphold the values of cricket. It is sad that he didn’t get to complete another century but his innings of 92 was worth far more than many other hundreds.
Some statistics from Keith Walmsley:
As we say farewell to our longtime President, among all the other tributes we can look here at a few of the facts and figures of his distinguished career.
His death came at the venerable age of 92 years and 213 days. Only ten England Test cricketers have been longer-lived. At the time he was England’s senior Test cricketer, measured by the length of time since his Test debut. That title now passes to Middlesex’s Alan Moss, whose debut was also against West Indies, on the 1953/54 tour in the Caribbean.
First-class career 10,054 runs at 31.51 with 20 centuries and 50 half-centuries
60 Wickets at 34.28 Best Bowling 4/50