Nailsea Cricket Club lose a local legend in Colin ‘Bert’ Ball following a long illness
PUBLISHED: 15:30 07 May 2020
Nailsea Cricket Club was rocked by the news that club legend Colin ‘Bert’ Ball had passed away on April 28.
Well known in local cricket circles, Ball was one of a talented group of players who helped turn Nailsea from a village side into one of the strongest teams in North Somerset by the early 1980s.
Ball was an excellent medium fast opening bowler who relied on accuracy, consistency and movement off the seam to trap many of his victims.
He eventually retired from first team cricket in 1982, having played 131 games and taken 210 wickets at 14.06, with a best of 8-21 against Robinsons in 1977.
He subsequently helped run the second team and Sunday first team for a number of years before playing his last game for the club in the over-40s team in 2000.
In retirement he stood as one of the club’s league umpires and also joined the “select” group of ex-cricketers who would support the first team from “Crackers Corner” at the Grove, from where he would offer much needed advice and encouragement.
As well as being a fine bowler, Ball was a loyal servant of the club for over 60 years.
Described as a ‘larger than life character’ who could light up any event with a fund of stories from matches he had played, or from his experiences as a lorry driver for Coates Cider and other local companies, he realised that youngsters were the future of the game and was always ready to provide encouragement and advice to those making their way in the game.
He will be missed not only by everyone at Nailsea CC, but by everyone who knew him. It is hoped that a memorial service for Colin can be held when current restrictions are relaxed.
Tributes from club members called Ball “one of Nailsea’s greats”.
“Life at Crackers Corner will not be the same,” said another.
“A great character and a match changing bowler.
“He will be missed by all the people who had the privilege to know him. It is a sad loss of a lovely man – a character – who will be greatly missed.”
“Very sad news. A gentle giant of the game we love. Taught us to play hard and have fun.”
“Another stalwart gone, the stories and memories of Bert, especially on tour, will always be with me.”
“Bally was a great player, a great supporter, a great club man and a great friend.”
“Very sad news. A fantastic guy, amazing sense of humour and dedicated clubman. Will be sorely missed.”
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