Feniton cricketers mourn John Virgin
PUBLISHED: 10:00 26 August 2009 | UPDATED: 00:03 16 June 2010
FENITON Cricket Club Chairman Peter Avery paid the ultimate accolade to John Virgin, who died recently.
FENITON Cricket Club Chairman Peter Avery paid the ultimate accolade to John Virgin, who died recently, when he said: "John quite simply was Mr Feniton CC."
The Acland Park chief continued: "The use of the word legend is often too liberally sprinkled around sporting clubs but, in this case, the word is most suitable for an individual who did so much in his lifetime for the Feniton CC cause."
John Virgin was a batsman first and foremost, although he was also known to turn his arm over and claim the occasional wicket. He was the first ever Feniton CC player to chalk up 1,000 runs in a single season, a feat he went on to repeat a number of times. His favourite shot was to spank the unfortunate bowler back over his head towards the boundary, whilst he was also often to be seen creaming the ball through the mid off.
Peter Avery recalls one particular innings that he was fortunate enough to witness: "It was at Kilmington where I recall him hitting an imperious 110. That was a very special innings. I think what it is important to say is that, in the days when the Acland Park wicket was such that a team score of 100 was considered to be a good total, if John got in, and made runs, then the side won. He was a very fine batsman who managed to mix, very effectively, determination and aggression. He was pivotal to all things progressive, on and off the pitch for us."
Virgin played all his cricket at Feniton apart from a brief stint at Clyst Hydon and off the pitch he served the club in almost every imaginable position from taking on the tea rota, captaining the side, arranging the purchase and control of kit, to looking after the ground and being the club chairman.
It was his skippering that Avery also alluded to when he said: "John commanded respect, he was such a nice and genuinely honest individual. A key asset to his skippering was that he never asked anybody to do a job he didn't feel they could do and his fielding, especially at silly point, was an inspiration. I have never seen anybody field as close to the bat in that position and countless times it paid off as he held a nick of the bat and pad and safely into his hands."
What is crystal clear is that John Virgin will never be forgotten by the good people at Acland Park and, as Avery suggests, a suitable memorial will be arranged: "We will meet as a committee to discuss a fitting way to honour a wonderful chap."
l The funeral service is to be held at Whimple Parish Church on Friday, August 28 at 12.30pm, after which interment will take place at Feniton church, followed by refreshments at the Feniton Sports and Social Club where, no doubt, the afternoon will be awash with wonderful cricketing tales involving a great ambassador for the sport.