John Laugharne is a brilliant servant at Neyland Cricket Club

John LaugharneWhen the new cricket season started John Laugharne was still doing yeoman work as scorer for Neyland first team and joining me in bemoaning the fact that there were no cricket teas.
“I’ve been involved at Neyland Cricket Club as a player, official and scorer for nigh on 70 years,” John explained, “and for the first time we can’t share a short time chatting to team-mates and opposition over a cup of tea, sandwiches and cake.”
John, well looked after as usual by his wife Jennifer, had brought his own picnic as he sat alone in the scorebox until I popped over for the score – but he made sure that I didn’t get anywhere near his two jam tarts or sandwiches!
Remarkably, John is 82 and still loves the involvement that saw him score at all Neyland’s matches in the National Village Cup and Welsh Cup matches as well in their local league and cup competitions and scoring for Pembrokeshire in home and away matches for some time as proof of his enthusiasm.

Traditional methods

Scorer, John LaugharneHe is very much a traditionalist and still uses what we both call ‘a proper scorebook’ rather than the new-fangled methods on things called I-Pads and ‘Play Cricket Live.’
“I’m too old a dog to teach new tricks,’ he told us with a chuckle, and we on can only agree!
In his younger days he was hugely involved in the town’s sport as he played as a middle-order batsman in seven Harrison-Allen Bowl Finals, with four winners’ medals, several Duggie Morris Cup Finals and helped them do well in the league on a number of occasions.
Then in the winter months he doubled up with Neyland RFC as a flanker and over the years he has built up a great rapport with not only his own players, who treat him like a favourite uncle, but by other cricketers and scorers across the length and breadth of the county.

Hugely respected by current players

Neyland skipper Sean Hannon told us,
“John represents all that is good in our club and we know how lucky we are to have him in the scorebox, week in, week out. He rarely misses a match and when we were travelling all over Wales and England in the Village Cup he was there.
“It was the same in our indoor cricket successes in Wales and even further, and when we made it to Lords for the finals no-one was more pleased than John – and of course he was there!”
Team manager Peter ‘Jack Davies’ added,
“I have got huge respect for John because like me he is there to help out off the field – and I know there are lots of clubs across the county who would love to have someone like him in the scorebox every weekend.
“Even the youngsters in the club have great respect for him and although we tease him a bit about old age we know that there are few genuine characters like him still involved in local cricket.”
We at can only agree because we have known John Laugharne for 50 years and he typifies all that is good in Pembrokeshire Cricket - and a visit to cricket at The Athletic Ground wouldn’t be quite the same without going around the boundary to chat to him him sitting serenely in the scorebox, reluctantly sharing his boiled fruit sweets and mint imperials with us!

John, Libby and Sam Laugharne