Throwback Thursday: Dennis Breakwell
Dennis Breakwell was 25 years old before he moved to Taunton but the all rounder, who was born and grew up in the West Midlands, became an essential part of the Somerset scene both during and after his playing days.
The slow left armer, who could also score very useful runs, started his playing career with Northamptonshire where he made his first team debut in 1969.
However at the end of the 1972 season when he was offered the chance to head south west Dennis got into his car – which was probably a white Ford Escort van at the time, and headed for the County Ground.
Dennis joined up with the young side that Brian Close was assembling which under the captaincy of Brian Rose between 1979 and 83 went onto win five one day trophies in as many years.
The all rounder was an integral part of that Glory Years with his live wire enthusiasm in the dressing room and on the field, coupled with his miserly bowling and at times crucial run scoring ability.
He may not have been one of the big time players of the Glory Years team but Dennis was always right in the middle of the action when he was needed.
On the pitch his finest moment probably came when he scored his only first class century which came against New Zealand at the County Ground in 1978, something he is still very happy to tell you about!
Batting at number seven Somerset found themselves 162 for five when he walked to the wicket to join Peter Roebuck with who he added 187 in an unbroken sixth wicket partnership, his share being exactly 100 not out.
With the ball his best return for Somerset was six for 38 against Oxford University in 1981, but there were six further five-for hauls in the first class game.
Dennis’ biggest value to the one- day side was his ability to limit the run rate and in his Somerset career he sent down 525 List A overs at a cost of just 3.94 runs apiece!
The all rounder played his final game for Somerset in 1983 after which he became a great ambassador as a coach for the club, visiting schools across the county on a regular basis to coach and share the enthusiasm he has for the game.
Dennis went on to become head groundsman and cricket coach at King’s College in Taunton, which was a post he held for many years. Under his guidance a number of talented players who later joined the Somerset staff were nurtured and developed including Jos Buttler, Craig Meschede, Alex Barrow and James Regan.
Dennis was also the forefront of the King’s College Cricket Festival becoming one of the best known of it’s kind both nationally and internationally.
Dennis Breakwell played in 165 first class matches for Somerset in which he scored 3777 runs at an average of 21.21. He also took 281 wickets at 33.22 runs.
In List A cricket Dennis played in 148 matches in which he scored 1059 runs at an average of 14.50 with a best of 44 not out.