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Somerset mourn the loss of Peter Eele

Somerset County Cricket Club is mourning the sad loss of Peter Eele who has passed away at the age of 83.

Born and bred within a mile of the County Ground, Peter was a wicket-keeper and middle order left-handed batsman. He won a scholarship to Taunton School where he played for the first eleven for four years.

From a young age Peter caught the eye of Somerset and he joined the playing staff straight from school, making his Second XI debut in 1955, when he finished fourth in the batting averages.

Harold Stephenson was already well established as the regular Somerset ‘keeper at that time, but when he sustained an injury in 1958, Peter ably deputized. Playing in 17 matches he claimed 35 victims, 29 catches and six stumpings.

His debut appearance was against Sussex at Taunton when he let only three byes in a combined innings total of 402.

In the match against Northamptonshire at Glastonbury that season he claimed eight catches and scored 39 before being bowled by Frank Tyson- a feat Peter was proud of.

During the 1963 season Peter scored the only century of his career when he made an unbeaten 103 against the Pakistan Eaglets at Taunton.

First team appearances continued to be limited for Peter but when Harold Stephenson eventually retired he stepped up. In 1964 he played in all the first team games and claimed 48 victims, 43 caught and five stumped.

Despite his success, Somerset engaged Geoff Clayton to keep wicket for the 1965 season, at the end of which Peter left the Club and went off to play Minor County cricket with considerable success for Devon.

Outside of cricket Peter worked for a time for Whiteway’s Cider and the brewers Hall Woodhouse, before eventually pursuing a career in banking.

Peter always had an interest in umpiring and in 1976 he was put on the Minor Counties list. Three years later he officiated in one First Class match at Portsmouth before being added to the list in 1981, where he remained until 1984.

In 1987 Peter was back on the reserve list and in 1989 and 1990 he served on the First Class umpires list.

In addition to his interest in cricket, Peter was also a keen golfer and was the assistant secretary at Taunton Vale Golf Club for a number of years. Latterly he enjoyed playing bowls and played his golf at Oake Manor Golf Club.

Former Somerset President, Roy Kerslake, who played alongside Peter on a number of occasions said: “Peter was very fine ‘keeper and a more than useful left-hand bat. He was unfortunate that his career coincided with Harold Stephenson because Peter did not get as many first team calls as he deserved, but he was an extremely good reserve.”

Between 1958 and 1965 Peter Eele played 54 First Class matches for Somerset in which he scored 612 runs and claimed 106 dismissals, 87 catches and 19 stumpings.

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Next MatchSomerset V Hampshire

26/07/2019 18:30 - The Cooper Associates County Ground

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