Today we heard of the sad news ~ that a Hythe Legend and Colts Founder Alan Wiltshire had passed away peacefully at the age of 90.
Alan played for Hythe for over 30 years and was also instrumental in setting up the Colts Section back in 1975. Whits, Wayne Effeny, Chiv, Si Dixon & Ben Kendrick all started their time with Hythe either playing Colts Cricket or Friendly Cricket under Alan and everyone talks of those days with great fondness.
Alan joined Hythe in 1958 and opened the batting for many seasons for the First XI. His enthusiasm was such that between 1967 & 1980 he played 401 games for the club scoring over 7,682. This included 288 SPL/County Runs & 621 Regional Runs.
He Captained the 2nd & 3rd XI during his time with the club as well as several years running the Sunday 2nd XI where his aim was to bring youngsters into the adult game.
Many a time the side would consist of Alan, Tony Woodhouse and one other senior ~ to provide the transport ~ the rest Colts. We were well beaten on many occasions and the fixture secretary was having problems getting clubs to play us but Alan insisted this was the way forward for the club and carried on.
Alan's son Mark also played played for the clubs First XI for many seasons and son in law Mike Osmond run the 3rd XI.
Alan also worked on the square for over 20 Years and as someone reminded me the other day ~ When the staff in his office couldn't find him ~ they knew he'd be down watering the square ~ such was his committment.
Sadly in the early ninties Alan decided to move out of the village and his long 31 year association with Hythe was over. A massive blow for the club and boy he was certainly missed.
In later years Alan's knowledge of Hythe players from the 60s-80s was still very clear to him as he put together a A-Z of past players. He still kept in touch and always tried and visit one game a season to see how the club was doing and try the teas. A bit better than his old Jam sandwiches.
Ben Kendrick said to me once that it was playing for Alan's third team at such a young age that made him such a decent cricketer - and there's many more who would agree with him.
It's very hard for Clubs to find the passion and committment Alan Wiltshire had for our club and he'll always be remembered as a True Hythe & Dibden Legend