Tony WOODHOUSE


Tony WOODHOUSE
Mr.Hythe & Dibden

Associated With The Club For 64 Years

- Played for Hythe between 1947 - 1999 

- Treasurer 1985 - 2010 

- Chairman 2000-2003

- Sunday 2nd XI Captain or Vice Captain 1950 - 1991

- Scored Over 3,834 Runs For Hythe

- Highest Score - 85 vs East Tytherley

- Took 1,879 Wickets For Hythe Over 52 Years

- Best League Bowling - 7-19 vs Hendy Fords

- Best Friendly Bowling - 9-21 vs Ferndown

Tony first played cricket for Hythe way back in 1947 when his father in law (Walt Bell) who was captain of the Second XI at the time, asked Tony to fill in when a player dropped out last minute. Tony had no intentions of playing cricket at the time but the bug quickly caught on especially when you were marrying into a cricketing family.

His first game was against HMS Dilligence down at Shore Road on a cut out pitch used in the winter for football. Tony recalls that their were more injuries than runs at the time caused by the Shore Road pitch.

Tony played for the First XI on several occasions during the fifties even keeping wicket for one game. Though once was enough especially to the pace bowling of Phil Pick and Harry May. His worst moment he said was during the 60's - Tony said over at Flamingoes he tried to hit a ball out of the ground and it struck the end of his bat into his mouth. Mary walked him around Eastleigh on a Sunday trying to find a doctor and afterwards he couldn't understand why no one offered to take him straight to A&E.When Tony returned to the ground some hours later he'd ended up having 5 stitches in his mouth.

During the sixties he captained the Second XI and after teaching himself to become a spin bowler quickly started to take wickets by tempting the batsman out of their crease. But the early days he was more of a useful bat - during the 1969 season he scored 314 runs inc 2x fifties against Old Tautonians (50) and Old Edwardians (54) as well as taking 60 wickets. 42 more wickets followed in 1970 but then the runs dried up a little as Hythe 2nd XI won just 6 of 31 games. 1971 saw Tony score 231 runs & another good wicket haul of 36. 

By 1972 Tony was causing problems to batsman of all abilites - he took 66 during the '72 season inc five - 6 wkt hauls the best 6-16 vs Bramshaw. 1973 he went even better 76 wkts & 227 runs. In 1975 Hythe 2nd XI joined the Hampshire League but Hythe's side continued to be very youthful - some days Tony, Alan Wiltshire and one other senior player, with the rest colts. Tony didn't care he just loved his cricket. Alan Wiltshire described Woodhouse as the backbone of the Second XI for almost three decades. He had to wait a season (1976) for his first league 5'fer - 5-38 vs St.Cross II's in a season where he collected 47 league wickets. Tony also got 7-42 vs Alton in a friendly as well as 6-24 vs Ferndown.

Tony also became a very good slip fielder and thanked Phil Pick for that. Tony says during the sixties he tried his hardest to get out of the slips but Picky kept putting him back in there. 1977 saw Hythe 2nd XI play in the Southern League Combination League - a tough ask but Tony captained the side with his usual enthusiasm and they finished 15th & 16th in the first two seasons. 1977 saw him take 18 league wickets & 47 Sunday wickets inc 8-36 vs Alton & 7-13 vs Hyde. Injury in 1978 saw Tony only bowl 32 overs in the league. Phil Pick took over the captaincy in 1979 and Tony decided to play just Sundays where he took 138 wickets over the next four seasons.

1985 Tony captained the newly formed Third XI for four seasons - taking over from Alan Wiltshire. They played in the Parks League where Tony took 7-19 vs Hendy Fords. He continued to run the Sunday 2nd XI as well for the next 7 years. In 1992 Tony handed over the captaincy to Tony North but continued as vice captain and played on until 1999 when his body could take no more. Tony described those years as his most enjoyable with a great family unity in the Sunday Second XI. Despite his age Northy always said Tonys was the first name down on the team sheet every week despite his age.

The 1997 season at the young age of 69 Tony still topped the Sunday bowling averages at 16.2 - taking 14 wickets in the process. 3,500 runs - 1,379 wickets over 52 years - quite an achievement. Tony once claimed 9-21 against Ferndown as well as claiming 8 wkts in a innings on 1 occasion - 7 wkts on 6 occasions and 6 wkts on 10 occasions during his long career. 

His highest ever score as a batsman was 86 against East Tytherley. He said he enjoyed playing at Tytherley because of it being a small ground and sixes were easier to hit. Tony was happy to go in at number 11 and on many occasions and hit the side out of trouble. 

When his playing days were over Tony umpired for a number of years as well as being Chairman 2000-2003 & Treasurer for 25 years. He also looked after his pride & joy - 'The Clubhouse' on match days along with his wife Mary. His love and passion for the club continued right upto the day he sadly passed away in 2011.

Many of the opposition even now expect to find Tony down at the ground on match days.

Every club has a stalwart - we were very luck to have had ours for 60 years

Tony Woodhouse - a True Hythe Legend