Today we heard the sad news that former H&D Club Stalwart Mike Swanton had sadly passed away at his home in Paphos, Cyprus on Tuesday 9th March.
Our thoughts go out to his son Simon, Bobsy (Mike's Sister @ the Lord Nelson) and the rest of the Swanton family.
Mike played for Hythe & Dibden during a 30 year span between 1959 & 1989 and will always be remembered as a terrific clubman. Indeed following Hythe's best ever seasons in the Southern League in 1983/84 finishing 2nd & 5th they lost over a dozen players in two seasons ~ yet Mike elected to stay and Captain the 2nd XI in the strong SPL 2nd XI League which was a thankless task as Hythe struggled to put out a decent 1st XI.
Mike joined the club in 1959 along with his dad Bert who had previously played for Husbands.
During a 30 year period he scored 5,009 Runs For Hythe inc 1,378 SPL/County League Runs as well as taking 652 Wickets inc 106 in SPL/County games.
His single H&D Ton came against Touring Side Old Dartfordonians where he scored 102* and in Friendly Club matches his Bowling Best was 7-13 vs Milford on Sea.
Pre league cricket ~ Mike really enjoyed himself as a middle order batsman and bowling off breaks. He took no less than - 5 x 7 wkts hauls , & 6 x 6 wkt hauls.
The 1962 season Mike took an impressive 75 wickets @ 11.37. and was then Hythe's man of the match in the side that lost the Sydney Wyatt Cup Final in 1964 by 1 run to Minstead. Mike scored 20 in the run chase and also went onto take 31 wickets that season.
In both the 1969 and the 1970 season Mike took 48 wickets including a 7-57 against Wimbourne. When League cricket was introduced Mike filtered between the firsts and seconds. During the County 1 Championship winning season of 1976 he took 14 wickets for the First XI and also played in the Sydney Cup Final where Hythe beat Lymington by 8 wickets to secure the double. But Mike also played a few Second XI matches including a tremendous all round performance vs Winterslow where he scored 71* and took 7-40.
Hythe joined the SPL in 1978 and Mike was MOM in their first ever win which came in game 3 beating Lymington by 65 runs ~ Mike taking 4-24. He continued playing 1st XI upto 1982 then Captained the Second XI in the Southern League between 1985 & 1988 and did a fantastic job for the club as the Second XI continually found the going tough in the top flight following a mass exodus of players. 1988 he scored 239 runs inc 41 vs Old Tauntonians. 1989 his final season he scored 218 runs @ 15.5 including 47 vs Hungerford.
Swanny's Hythe career span thirty years though he did have a couple of small periods away from the game. Talk to the other H&D Legends - they will tell you what a tremendous job Mike did in the late eighties when everyone else had decided to leave the club.
Mike Swanton now joins a strong Hythe team who have sadly passed away but his fine achievements for this club will always be in our history. Thanks Mike