It is with a deep sense of loss that Elmswell Cricket Club would like to mark the passing of one of its longest serving and especially loved players, Rodney Wilson, who died in his native Sri Lanka a few weeks ago
Rodney, who lived in New Road, played 172 games for the Club, scoring in excess of 1,000 runs and also notching up a few wickets along the way. As a player and opening batsman, he spanned some 20 consecutive years. In the latter part of his career, this was on the basis of, what in other arenas, might be termed a 'super sub' - typically turning out a short notice to help out when getting a team of 11 appeared problematic. He was 'Mr Reliable' and would never let the Club down. Even after he had finished playing, Rodney's enthusiasm and support was undiminished. Rarely would a home game on a Sunday afternoon at the Blackbourne go without his presence for at least some if not all the match - not unusually, even on the hottest of days, with him appearing in at least two sweaters. To say he felt the cold would be an understatement but, being the true gentleman he was, would always take jokes about his attire with a knowing smile. Rodney was made a Life Member of the Club in 1994 and never was such an accolade more deserving.
Beyond cricket it is, given that this is the Queens's Diamond Jubilee year, interesting to recall that Rodney was in the Sri Lankan Army that paraded at Her Majesty's coronation in 1953. He moved to Elmswell in the 1970s and his work as a public health officer took him to the likes of the Bacon Factory and John Rannoch Ltd.
When the Cricket Club re-formed in the village in 1974, Rodney was to the fore and duly elected as Fixture Secretary. Inevitably, his involvement and commitment extended to all activities and, not least, the training of youngsters. His comments then are as relevant to young players now - as, no doubt, some celestial cricket field is echoing to his cries of "Pitch the ball up...".
Elmswell has lost a lovely man; the Club, its biggest supporter. He will be sadly missed...but always remembered.