Congresbury Cricket Club stalwart and one of their most successful players, Stewart Dewer, has sadly passed away at the age of 74.

Congresbury look back on the career of Dewer and pay tribute to a local cricketing legend, whose positive influence on a generation of their cricketers will forever be valued and treasured. 

Born on Bequia, an island that is part of Saint Vincent, Dewer's early cricketing experiences were in the fiercely competitive matches between rival Caribbean islands.

In 1969, at just 20 years of age, he left the West Indies for a job in the UK and started playing cricket for St John’s Hospital in Lincolnshire.

Further job moves around the country led to his playing for clubs in Sheffield, Coventry, Dorchester, St Albans, and Southgate in London - a feeder club for Middlesex County Cricket Club.

In 1986, Dewer arrived in the West Country when he was appointed to a job at Bristol Polytechnic. His wife, Mandy also got a job as a Health Visitor in Hartcliffe in Bristol.

Dewer could well have played for Bristol West Indies, but it was a chance conversation Mandy had with community policeman, Dave Walbyoff, that opened the door to the potential for playing cricket for Congresbury.

Congresbury’s Tim Hockey followed up with a phone call and Dewer was persuaded to come along to the ground and look at the cricketing set up in the village. He initially mistook Cleeve CC’s ground for Congresbury’s, but he finally found his way to Congresbury’s shores, with his first outing being for the Second XI at Nailsea on April 30, 1988.

He famously ran out ran out Mike Fisher for one, but went on to score an impressive 95. He played a few more games for the Seconds and once for the Thirds, but it was his 218 matches for the First XI that showcased his all-round cricketing skills.

A couple of centuries, 20 50s, 87 wickets, 80 catches and a Somerset Cup winners medal were the stats behind his 18-year tenure at Congresbury’s crease which also included a five-year stint as First XI captain.

Away from playing league cricket, Stewart excelled as Youth Co-ordinator and fittingly became Chairman in 2005 when Mike (Rocky) Regan retired. A position Stewart held for five years. 

Dewer also turned out for Somerset County over-50s and he was Chairman of the North Somerset Youth Cricket League for many years, with his service recognised at a lunch and an on-field presentation during a match day at the county ground in Taunton.