Somerset Mourn The Loss of Roy Smith
The Somerset and Devon cricketing community is mourning the sad loss of Roy Smith who passed away recently at the age of 90.
Roy Smith was born in Taunton on 14th February 1930 and went to Huish’s Grammar School before moving to Woolacombe in 1944, where the talented all-round sportsman started to make his mark playing cricket for North Devon and football for Ilfracombe.
During his first full season playing club cricket, Roy claimed 117 wickets at less than eight runs each, drawing the attention of Somerset where he was offered a job working as an assistant secretary to Nigel Daneill.
Roy completed his National Service at Norton Fitzwarren and in a trial match against the Army he took eight for 56.
Roy’s debut for Somerset came in June 1949 against Cambridge University at Bath and he scored 40 in the second innings. On the strength of this performance, Roy signed a professional contract with the county in 1950.
In the 1952 season, Roy played in about half of Somerset’s First-Class matches. In a game against Essex at Taunton, batting at number eight, Roy made 58, his first half century. Towards the end of the 1952 season, he took four wickets for 91 against Leicestershire, the best figures of his career.
Roy was a regular player in the Somerset side in 1953, and made 1,176 runs at an average of 26.17, scoring 100 against Worcestershire at Frome, which earned him his county cap.
Another career highlight was his 77 not out against Australia at Taunton in 1953.
After two disappointing season’s Roy was released by Somerset at the end of 1956, having played in 96 matches, scoring 2,600 runs at an average of 17.10 with one century and nine half centuries. He also took 19 wickets at an average of 57.00, with a best of four for 91.
Post his cricketing career, Roy trained to become a teacher at St Luke’s in Exeter and taught at Richard Huish’s where he stayed until 1978. In addition to teaching maths he coached both the school cricket and football teams.
Between 1957 and 1961, Roy played Minor County cricket for Devon, appearing in 47 matches in which he scored 1,341 runs at an average of almost 25 with a best of 150. He also took 46 wickets at 23 runs apiece.
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