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Essex Shield

Tales from the Boundary

H. A. (Tony) Pawson


As mentioned in the previous piece, Henry Anthony (Tony) Pawson was a fascinating fella.  Born in 1921 he had a good innings of 91 years.

He made his Kent 2nd XI debut in 1939, scoring 123, then scored 47 in a match against Norfolk, which side included DC, RC and BW Rought-Rought.  I wonder how many sides were ‘Rought-Roughted’?

WW2 intervened, with Pawson becoming a Major in the Rifle Brigade.

In 1946, now 25 or so, he played eight matches for Kent, averaging 32.70, before playing for Oxford University and scoring 135 in the Varsity Match of 1947, with Cambridge (including Trevor Bailey and Doug Insole) required to follow on.   In 1948, Pawson scored 49 and captained Oxford to an innings win, despite TEB and DI being joined by Dewes and Doggart.

1947 and 1948 were Pawson's busy and best seasons, averaging 38.58 in 21 matches, then 46.59 in 17 matches.

He played once each for the East (v West), South, Gentlemen and MCC and scored 137 v Essex in 1948.

Overall he averaged 33.33 in 43 matches for Kent (with two centuries) and 46.03 in 22 matches for Oxford (with four centuries), totalling 69 first class matches with an average of 37.32, playing a final two games in 1953.

He did, however, play in 1973 for Old England v England women.

Pawson's real passion, however, seemed to be fly fishing and he became World Fly Fishing Champion in 1984 and was awarded an OBE for 'services to angling' in 1988.

One of the true amateurs he also played football for Charlton Athletic and won an FA Amateur Cup winners' medal in 1951.

A jolly good egg, by the sound of things.

Andrew Appleby