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Essex Shield

Tales from the Boundary

Stuart Turner


Stuart Turner made his first class/county debut in 1965, having played 3 seconds' matches in 1964.  He played 9 firsts' matches in 1965 plus 11 seconds' matches.   However, he turned up for pre-season nets in 1966 only to find that his services had been dispensed with.

Well, it proved that his service had merely been suspended as he fought back to regain a place in 1968 and for the next 16 seasons was an indispensable stalwart of the Essex side, enduring to enjoy the glories of 1979 and the early 1980's.

At times there was even talk of Test recognition but with Greig and Botham around this was unlikely.  Stuart, however, was probably a better all rounder than some who got the England call but proved to be jacks of both trades and masters of neither.  He won The Cricket Society Wetherall Award for the Leading All-Rounder in English First-Class Cricket in 1974.

Stuart was mostly first change to Lever and Boyce/Phillip.  He took 821 wickets at 26.00 in 361 matches and scored 9,411 runs at 22.84, including four centuries, and took 217 catches.

He was especially useful in limited overs matches, often bowling the last 'death' overs, taking 470 wickets at 22.98 in 379 matches and scoring 4,333 runs at 18.67. with 106 catches.

He was a 'bustling' bowler and a 'clunking' batsman.  Not necessarily pretty to watch but pretty effective.

He showed he was a cut above average when playing for Cambrideshire from 1987 to 1995, with 289 wickets at 18.24 in 62 matches plus 1,175 runs at 21.36.

Subsequently he played for Essex over-60's in 2011, aged 68 and for Lindum in the Lincolnshire League from 2001 until 2015.

After retirement from professional cricket, Stuart took up coaching and taught at Forest School, Walthamstow until his retirement in 2011.  However, he came back to teaching cricket in 2017 and, maybe, still does.  He clearly loves the game.

Andrew Appleby