Stalwart Crowe fondly remembered

FORMER England players Vic Marks and Hugh Morris have led the tributes to a stalwart of Sidmouth CC, who has died aged 79, writes Conrad Sutcliffe.

FORMER England players Vic Marks and Hugh Morris have led the tributes to a stalwart of Sidmouth CC, who has died aged 79.Ted Crowe, who played for Sidmouth in the 1960s and '70s, spent his entire working life as a teacher at Blundell's School in Tiverton.Crowe combined teaching with coaching rugby and cricket during his time on the staff from 1953 to 1989. In retirement he was an active secretary of the Old Blundellians' Association, of which he had been a member for more than 50 years.Crowe coached Marks and Morris while they were pupils at the school, at rugby as well as cricket, and both remember him with genuine affection.Marks, who played in six Test matches and more than 30 one-day internationals, said Crowe's special quality was the way he imparted his enthusiasm for the game to his pupils.'Ted always encouraged youngsters to play," said Marks, now a leading cricket journalist and member of the Test Match Special team on Radio Four."He didn't try to coach them too much, but made sure they had the opportunity to play in good quality matches against better players and had the chance to improve their game that way."Morris, who scored close to 20,000 First Class runs for Glamorgan and England, is now managing director of England cricket for the ECB.He likened Crowe to an old-fashioned uncle who always had other people's best interests at heart. "Ted's passing is a very sad day for the school, and it is also a very sad day for the game of cricket," said Morris."Ted loved cricket, and did all he could to support and encourage the game at all levels. "It did not matter whether he was watching the school, a local club, his beloved Devon, or Somerset; he always wished the game to be played in the right spirit."One of Crowe's Sidmouth team-mates was Alan Wardrop, who remembers his old friend's generosity."Cricket was always entertaining when Ted played," said Wardrop."He was a very generous man. He once decided that my bat was no good and, searching amongst the deep layer of Mintoe wrappers on the floor of his car, came up with a brand new Stuart Surridge, still in its bag from the maker."He gave me the bat with the instruction to pay for it at a penny a run. Needless to say I still haven't made enough runs to cover the cost."Crowe, who was born in Surrey, was the son of a cricket enthusiast who formed his own team and called it Crowe's CC! He followed his father and older brother to Blundell's for his education (1943-46), then went to Pembroke College, Cambridge, to obtain his degree.After Cambridge and National Service in the Army, Crowe returned to Blundell's as a young mathematics teacher in Coronation year. He remained on the staff until retirement in 1989.As a young man he played rugby and cricket for Tiverton. When the original Tiverton club folded, he joined Sidmouth and played for them until the mid-1970s. During the 1955 season, he was picked three times to play for Devon.After retiring from teaching, Crowe joined the Devon CCC committee in 1991 and was still a member when he died.One of his favourite tasks as secretary of the Old Blundellians was running the club's box at Somerset's ground in Taunton, which became known as the Crowe's Nest due to it's lofty perch on top of the indoor cricket school.A private family funeral will take place today (Feb 8). A memorial service is being held for Ted at St Peter's Church in Tiverton on Saturday, April 12, at 11am. Blundell's School will host a reception after the service.

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