Thursday, August 28th, 2014

Achievements Of “tip” Foster Honoured With Plaque Unveiling At New Road

Achievements Of “tip” Foster Honoured With Plaque Unveiling At New Road

The achievements of former Worcestershire player R.E. "Tip" Foster – the only man to captain England at cricket and football – have been honoured with the unveiling of a plaque at New Road.

David Fiddler, the great grandson of R.E. Foster, handed over the plaque to Worcestershire president John Elliott during a ceremony on the balcony of the 1865 Lounge.

It marks 100 years since the premature death of R.E.Foster from diabetes in May 1914.

The plaque, commissioned by Worcester Civic Society (WCS), is positioned on the cricket ground wall facing onto New Road itself near to the Cricket Suite so it can be viewed by the thousands of people who walk past the ground every day and car users.

But in addition the Foster Trophy, made out of bronze and depicting R. E. Foster playing a stroke, will be awarded every year to the winner of the Damian D'Oliveira Academy Player Of The Year award.

R.E. Foster played for Worcestershire from 1899 to 1912 in the era when it was known as "Fostershire" with seven sons of Sophiae and the Rev Henry Foster playing for the county.

"Tip" and his brother W.L.Foster are the only brothers to score centuries in each innings of a County Championship match – against Hampshire in 1899.

R.E. Foster scored 287 on his England debut against Australia at Sydney in 1903 which is still the record debut innings, the highest for England in Australia and the highest in any Test in Sydney until Michael Clarke's 329 against India in 2012.

In addition he scored six goals when England beat Germany 12-0 in 1901 and at Oxford University he won blues in cricket, football, rackets and golf.

Worcester Civic Society chairman Stephen Inman said: "The blue plaque is in memory of a very special sportsman, born in Worcestershire and who represented England in two key sports, cricket and football.

"There are a few of these plaques in Worcester to commemorate famous people of whom Tip Foster is one.

"It is very important we unveil this plaque in honour of the first person to captain England at cricket and football, something that has not been achieved since and is unlikely ever to happen again!

"Our aim is to acknowledge local sportsman, local people, who have done great things in Worcester."

Mr Fiddler said: "As the great grandson of RE Foster I am very to be proud for this plaque to be presented by the Worcester Civic Society to the president of Worcestershire CCC (John Elliott).

"It's been a busy year commemorating the centenary of his death, at Malvern College, and at Lord's and now at New Road, probably the most important place where he played county cricket with his brothers.

"One of the things to remember is that the First World War broke out shortly after his death and I think to some extent he and the rest of the brothers have been forgotten people.

"It is very easy to forget his and the other brother's sporting achievements. RE Foster was also a rackets champion at Oxford, a scratch golfer.

"He was an all-round, brilliant sportsman who was unfortunate to die at 36 because of the lack of insulin at that time.

"He is very much part of the sporting history of Worcester. The things he did don't happen every day or every century and are quite extra-ordinary."

Worcestershire Chief Executive David Leatherdale said: "The Foster plaque is situated facing New Road next to the 1865 Lounge entrance.

"If people walk up New Road they will see it. That was the point, that it is actually visible outside the ground and not just for members.

"The whole idea is that all the thousands of people who walk up and down New Road every day and the 30,000 cars a day will effectively see it."