Simon Bailey, a true legend of all things Bradninch Cricket Club, passed away in the early hours of the final day of March 2018.
‘Bails’ as he is more affectionately known at the cricket club, first appeared at Kensham Park in the early 1980s when, as a young man recently relocated to the south-west and, as a proud cricket playing Yorkshireman, he was looking for a club to join and play for.
He was an instant success both on, and off, the pitch, he was working for Devon County Council, to whom he gave great, long service, before, in later years he worked with Reuters, the news agency, then based at Tiverton.
In cricketing terms, Simon was an all-rounder and, in true ‘Yorkie’ spirit, he was a keen competitor – he played to win! Indeed, such were his all-around skills with bat and ball that he could – and did – bat, bowl, keep wicket and outfield – superbly!
Simon scored well over 10,000 runs and claimed over 500 wickets in umpteen years of fabulous service to BCC – and, such was his passion for cricket that he would often be found turning out for Coaver CC in the then midweek league and for any other local club that had a game on and needed a player – but only ever if his beloved Bradninch were not in action.
In later years Simon was a great supporter of all things BCC and, even when the clouds and fogginess of a horribly debilitating illness began to descend he still battled on to either umpire for the 2nd XI in league games or help out wherever he could.
There are not too many folk in the modern game as keen as our Simon was in terms of ‘getting his hands dirty in the club’s cause’, and by dirty we mean every aspect of club life, be that scoring winning runs, taking vital wickets, holding stunning catches, umpiring, scoring, helping with tea preparation, clearing up and washing up post tea, bar duties, scrubbing the dressing rooms. In every sense of the three words, Simon was a ‘true cricket clubman’.
Again, true to his roots, he could, as they say in all the best pavilions: ‘sup a beer with the best of them’.
Right now, we suspect Simon is already integrating into some form of cricket and sporting environment in that ‘great stadium in the sky’ – the cricketing gods are all the richer for their latest arrival.
Rest In Peace Simon – ‘Gone but never to be forgotten’
The pictures are
1 Simon, 2 Simon as Umpire with BCC 2nd XI at Plymstock, 3 Simon and club chairman Derrick Foan, 4 Simon when he was part of a newspaper article on wicket keeping gloves, 5 Simon in the 2005 team, 6 Simon umpiring as Chris Dean bowled on “Deano’s” birthday, and 6 Simon and Paul Nott,