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Date: 23rd March 2017
A Paul Edwards copyright exclusive for L&DCC Official Website.
An utterly loyal and valued servant of Southport and Birkdale Cricket Club is lost to us all.
Tom's funeral will be on Wednesday 5th April at 10.45am at the West Lancashire Crematorium, Burscough and afterwards at Southport and Birkdale CC.
Southport and Birkdale Cricket Club is in mourning for the second time in less than a fortnight after the death was announced on Wednesday evening of Tom Caunce.
Caunce was a slow left-arm bowler of great skill, a very resourceful lower middle-order batsman and a former first-team skipper at Trafalgar Road. He was also an utterly loyal and valued servant of S&B, a club he served with quiet devotion for over 45 years.
Like Alan Morton, who died 12 days ago, Caunce played in the sides which won the Liverpool Competition in 1975 and 1979. His ability to probe the defences of the league’s very best batsmen was a vital component in the success of those teams and his name was one of the first on the team sheet.
In knockout matches, Caunce often bowled his eight or nine overs at the beginning of an innings, conceding perhaps 15 runs and taking a couple of wickets. He imposed a grip on a game which other bowlers strove to emulate.
In the 1981 Liverpool Echo Knockout Final Caunce captained S&B to victory over Oxton, taking 13 wickets in the two-innings match and nine in the Wirral side’s second innings. He also played in the sides which won the competition’s knockout trophy in 1980 and 1982.
“Tom was his best in knockout games,” said Peter Walker, a former first team skipper at Southport and Birkdale. “He even gave variety to a side that had seven all-rounders. Batting-wise he could play useful innings and he gave it a good thwack over extra-cover, which is not where you expect batsmen coming in at eight or nine to get their runs.”
Late in his career Caunce skippered S&B’s second team and when his playing days were done, he served the club as a skilled groundsman, first by assisting Peter Bailey and then by deputising when Bailey himself was ill.
Caunce also provided a wealth of experience upon which the present groundsman, Eric Lanchin, could draw. He put in countless hours of work on the ground where he had played with such distinction.
He is quite irreplaceable and Southport and Birkdale Cricket Club is so much the poorer for his passing. This has been a bleak spring at Trafalgar Road.
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