Pembrokeshire loses a cricketing legend!

Maurice Cole and Roley Edwards



Pembrokeshire Cricket was rocked this week with the sad news of Maurice Cole’s passing and leaves a massive gap in the people looked up to by others for the part they have played in the game, both as a player, administrator and supporter.
When I became County Club chairman in 1996 I knew that I could always go to Maurice for some quiet advice alongside the other ‘greats’ of the local game in Cyril Venables, Stan Richards, John Isaac and Roley Edwards.
I asked Roley  to write a tribute for us as a close family friend - and two of our pictures feature Maurice when he was club captain in the winning 1978 Harrison-Allen Bowl Final and Roley was the man of the match, plus the team after the game.

Maurice had a profound knowledge of the game and said it as it was, which I loved, and in recent years it was always a pleasure to bump in to him and his smashing wife Janet, who gave him total support.

My family’s thoughts go out to Janet, Andrew and Jenny, plus the rest of their extended family – and to Cresselly Cricket Club, where he was held in the highest regard and did so much for them, as he did for Pembrokeshire Cricket.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          

Janet and Maurice Cole


My tribute to Maurice Cole by Roley Edwards

I can pay no greater tribute to my great friend Maurice than to refer to the hundreds of comments which have appeared on social media in recent days. Such lovely, often moving words, from so many people whose life he touched in one way or another. He was a unique Pembrokeshire legend.
I knew Maurice for over fifty years. He captained our team for many successful years during the 60’s and 70’s during which time we won many competitions. He also captained the County team on many occasions. He was an astute captain, great tactician and thinker about the game. Many future Club captains have soon been told in no uncertain terms that their tactics on the day were wrong!  He was a life member at Cresselly and also of the Pembroke County Cricket Club.
Off the field we worked, together with others, on many successful Club projects over the years and he was very proud of the ground and playing facilities at Cresselly being one of the best in the county. Together with his wife Janet he was a very generous club sponsor for many years. He will be a great loss to the local and wider community. He was comfortable in any company and seemed to have that knack of saying the right thing at the right time.
He was a very kind and generous man who sought no publicity. I know of his kindness and generosity to many people over the years, most of which went unreported and unnoticed. Some will remember him as the very popular landlord at the Cresselly Arms for many years and for his association with football, rugby and several country sports.
Also for his longstanding support for his chapel at Pisgah, where he was a deacon and former treasurer, and for many charitable causes, especially the local branch of Cancer Research.
He will be greatly missed by many and it is difficult to imagine the reality of life without him. My sincere sympathy and thoughts go out to Janet, Andrew and Jenny, and all the family. We may never see his like again.
Roly Edwards

Cresselly flag at half mast


Other tributes to Maurice

As well as Roley Edwards’ wonderfully moving tribute we also include other well-known cricketing people from around the county who wished to recognise Maurice’s contribution to Pembrokeshire Cricket

Maurice Cole and Stan Richards

Phil Thomas – Former County Treasurer and Life Member):

Maurice was a star without ever looking to impress and at our club we all regarded him as the inspiration behind all that went on over so many years. As a youngster he wasn’t afraid to give me much-needed advice and we became firm friends over so many years, especially at County level where his wisdom was recognised by all in meetings. Everyone in local cricket knew him and his loss to Cresselly is immense.

Trefor Evans (County Club assistant secretary and life member):

Maurice was a real gentleman of cricket and a lovely man who had time for everyone. When I was county club treasurer he was president and it was great that I could go to him for a few quiet words of advice when I needed to; knowing it might not be the answer I wanted but invariably turned out to be very wise words. I will miss him around the boundaries and so will many, many cricket players and lovers of the game.

Chris Williams (Lawrenny Chairman and Life Member):

Maurice was known throughout the county and he will be a great loss for our cricket because he represented all that was good in the way we play the game. He joined his son Andrew, a great servant of our club, in playing for us late in his long career and even the youngest of our players looked up to him. He and Janet used to come to support us at evening cup matches and sponsored us – cricket has lost a great man.

Dai Davies (Llangwm Life Member):

What a sad day for our cricket because we have lost one of the best in Maurice Cole. He was a tough competitor and a great captain of Cresselly and Pembrokeshire – but always a friend to share a pint with after matches, when his dry sense of humour often came to the fore. We seem to be losing our genuine characters and Maurice was certainly one of them – and he will be missed at every cricket club in the county.

Nick Evans (County Club President and Life Member):

Pembrokeshire Cricket has lost a major figure in Maurice after so many years in terms of playing and administration and the loss to Cresselly is incalculable. I played with Maurice for many years in the county side and he was an excellent skipper. My thoughts today are with his lovely family.

Gethin Evans (Carew former captain and Life Member):

Maurice was a gentleman on and off the pitch, where he was a tough opponent but always shared a pint after our local derbies, which we both loved. When I came here in 1974 I soon got to know him and respected him as much as any player I have come across – and a great administrator respected right across the county.

Alun Davies (Llanrhian Life Member):

Maurice was captain of the county when I played my first game at that level as someone from a small club - and he made me feel welcome and totally at home with his quiet advice. I loved a pint with him at The Quay or The Sloop and I give my deepest sympathy to his family and Cresselly.
Stefan Jenkins (Cresselly Secretary and Player):

Just to say that the Maurice will be missed greatly by everyone connected to the club, the community and the county. He truly was a gentleman who had time for anyone. He was everything we as players aspired to be and everyone looked up to him. He would always have time to give you honest advice, both positive and, when things needed to improve. He has always been so committed and generous to the club - from watching the 1st team, both home and away, sponsoring and supporting events, to attending junior games and watching them train on Friday evenings, he was always there, either on the bank or in his car parked up by the scorebox. 

From a personal point of view I remember fondly the influence he had on me playing cricket as a schoolboy  as he was our school cricket coach back in the days of Jeffreyston VC School. He gave up hours of his personal time to lead our after-school clubs and drive the minibus to local tournaments and beyond. He would always treat us to sausage and chips instead of us taking lunchboxes! As secretary of the club he has been nothing but supportive to me and everything we do as a club. 

The touching tributes and comments on the club social media sites point to what a brilliant man, player, captain, friend and servant to the game he really was. Maurice was a true Pembrokeshire legend. 

Maurice and Harrison-Allen Bowl Cresselly team