St Fagans CC est 1862

St Fagans CC tributes to Peter Hardwick

 

 

St Fagans CC tributes to a true Stags legend, Peter Hardwick

Peter Hardwick

Penned by Club President, Ricky Needham

We were all shocked and saddened to learn of Peter’s sudden and untimely death before Christmas.

I first met Pete in the early years of the Western League, when he opened the bowling for Brislington, before reverting to left arm spin. He would often bowl for an entire innings from one end, and consequently could never understand why there should be a restriction on the number of overs a bowler could bowl, when there was no such restriction or limitation placed on batsmen.

He was always competitive, but after the game he would enjoy very much the social side of the game, discussing the day’s play or cricket in general, a subject on which he held strong views and was keen to share.

When his job moved him to Cardiff in the late 1980’s, he bought his house in Wenvoe but still travelled back to play for Brislington each weekend. The following January Pete telephoned me and asked to meet me in The Plymouth Arms, when he told me that he was considering joining St. Fagans CC. He indicated that the way we played and socialised afterwards met with his approval. I told him that he would be a most welcome addition to the club, but that as he could not bat or field that I could not guarantee him a first team place! He advised me that he was prepared to take his chance. The fact that he was still playing first team cricket long after most of the side he joined had themselves retired speaks volumes for how good a bowler he was and how valuable a member of the side he became.

Pete was a man of cricket, firstly as a player both at club level and for Wales over 50’s and 60’s, secondly as a coach for Cowbridge CC, Penarth CC and Cardiff & The Vale Regional Cricket, and thirdly as a raconteur on the game that he so loved and cherished.

He was a delight to play with and we shared many enjoyable occasions together. He was one of, if not the best left arm slow bowler that I had the pleasure of playing alongside. He was a slow bowler with a fast bowler’s temperament, always willing to give a batsman the benefit of his opinion of a shot played against his bowling, but reluctant to concede any runs whatever, even if trying to buy wickets.

It was a considerable privilege to have had the experience of playing alongside him, and an honour to have been able to call him a friend.

Our thoughts at this extremely sad time are of course with Dawn, Paul and Jane, but we shall all doubtless also recall our own memories of a very decent man and a remarkably good cricketer.

Penned by former skipper and head of youth cricket, Phil Makinson

Pete Hardwick – The best club bowler I’ve ever played with.

Pete joined St Fagans in 1988 when his job brought him to Cardiff. His left arm spin was already well known to St Fagans batters as he had played with great success for Western League rivals Brislington for many years.

In those days there were no bowling restrictions and a bowler could bowl all day – Pete regularly did, quite often taking the new ball and twirled away all afternoon for 25 overs. He very quickly became the leader of the St Fagans spin attack which in 1991 consisted of the formidable quartet of Pete, Pete Lawlor, Kristian Bell and Jamie Sylvester. The club won the Village Cup that summer and Pete’s figures in the final at Lord’s were 2 For 24 off 9 overs.

He would bowl to 6/3 and occasionally 7/2 off side fields and batters had to sweep or slog him if they were chasing a half decent target. I can vividly remember Pete’s battles with Huw Ellison of Bristol Optimists. Huw would sweep or slog Pete from ball one and they would have a lively discussion. I think it was good natured but couldn’t be sure as the discussion was in broad Bristolian Wurzel.

As a fielder Pete was a specialist square leg. After completing his over he would wander off to square leg with the Umpire and debate the previous overs lbw appeal – there was sure to have been one!

Pete was generally a number 11 batter but took it deadly seriously. I can recall a match at Bath where he bravely saw off their fearsome quickie, Ian Shrubsole. He loved to open the batting on tour and would enjoy surviving longer than recognised batters, and would remind them of the fact all evening long.

I captained Pete for three seasons and it was great to have somebody so reliable and dependable to call upon. When asked what end he would prefer to bowl he rarely thought of wind, slope or boundary size, his answer always being “first available end”.

At the advanced age of 45, Pete made his Minor Counties debut for Wales, playing four games during the 1994 season. I spent a couple of hours watching Pete bowl at Usk for Wales in a personal battle against Aftab Habib, who went on to play for England.

He left the club after the 1997 season when the Western League brought in bowling restrictions. In his 10 seasons with St Fagans Pete took a staggering 923 first eleven wickets (including sunday cup matches and mid week friendlies). He took 50 league wickets in 7 of of those 10 seasons – no other St Fagans bowler has taken 50 wickets in a league season before or since.