A CRICKET team that disbanded in 2003 have come together 19 years later to play again in memory of one of their most loved teammates.

Penarth Sports Cricket Club was first founded in 1978 by David Cole.

An advert in the Penarth Times in 1984 brought in the club's best ever batsman, Andrew Ford, who scored more than 15,000 runs for the club.

However, Andrew was not the only Ford to become a legend in the team.

One Sunday, when the team were short of players, Andrew said he could bring his father, Gordon, in to play.

Although his teammates were a bit apprehensive about an older man playing alongside them, Gordon soon proved his worth with his energetic displays and sense of humour.

Mr Cole said: "The thing with Gordon was his attitude. He was very, very funny.

"He used to say to me if we had a league game, and obviously major league games, you've got to put your best team on, he said: 'don't worry I'll just come up and watch and if you're short on the day - I'll play'.

"He never used to nag me about batting and bowling.

"Having Gordon in that team was an absolute blessing, he was brilliant."


Gordon, a Korean War veteran, had never played cricket for a team before volunteering that Sunday, but went on to play more than 400 times for the club and was still going in 2003 while in his 70s.

He was famous for his unique bowling style, which managed to catch out quite a few unsuspecting players.

Mr Cole said: "He would walk back about 50 yards to the boundary, and he would run all the way in like a West Indian bowler at full pace.

"Then suddenly he'd get to the wicket and he'd slow right down and bowl about 10 miles an hour.

 "It was hilarious because sometimes he used to do it against a team he had done it to previously, but he'd forgotten.

"I used to love the look on the batsman's face because he knew what he was going to do."

Despite not being considered amongst the best players, Gordon did have his moment of glory when he hit the winning boundary against Bournemouth in 1993.

He passed away peacefully in his home in Penarth on February 14, 2021.

Gordon's death brought his old teammates back together and after a few successful social events, the decision was made to get back playing.

Penarth Sports CC have organised thirteen friendlies in memory of Gordon and have managed to bring back many familiar faces.

Among the old faces is Gordon's son, Andrew.

When asked about his father, Andrew said: "He was a very, very big character within the club and within the Penarth community as well.

"He did a lot of community work, looking after pensioners and people who needed help - he brought into the community.

"My mum is very touched by the reforming of the club in dad's memory.

"We didn't realise how loved and liked he was, a lot has come to light but we're very humbled and touched by the reforming of the club."

The first  of the the 13 games was played against Creigau on Sunday, April 24.

Despite many of the players admitting they are not as spry as they used to be, the game was a success despite Penarth eventually losing out.

Mr Coles said: "It was a wonderful occasional. We batted first to score 171 all out.

"In a very exciting finish Creigau got the runs for the loss of nine wickets.

"John Crump took 3 wickets and was voted man if the match.

"Everyone enjoyed the day enormously."

Andrew pitched in with 55 runs scored.