Wednesday, October 19th, 2016

Gifford Pays Tribute To Roy Booth – 90 Not Out!

Gifford Pays Tribute To Roy Booth – 90 Not Out!

Norman Gifford has paid tribute to a fellow Worcestershire CCC legend in Roy Booth who has been celebrating his 90th birthday this month.

Roy, who is still a regular visitor to New Road on match days, reached the landmark on October 1.

He was a key member of the 1964 and 1965 County Championship side behind the stumps but also in making important lower order contributions with the bat.

Roy in 1964 became the last player to register 100 dismissals in a season and is one of only seven keepers to achieve that feat.

It was the second time Roy reached three figures and he ended his career with 1,125 first class victims in addition to 10,138 first class runs.

Former Worcestershire captain Gifford said: "When you look back through his record and you see he has scored 1,000 runs and taken 100 catches (in a season)…..very special.

"I was looking at all the stats when we won the Championship for the first time in 1964 and you see 90 catches, 10 stumpings from Roy.

"You are thinking 'crikey' and today (with the reduced Championship programme), it would take someone ages to do that.

"At that time he was one of the few batsman-keepers that came in at seven-eight and almost relied on – which we did then.

"People who could you get 1,000 runs at that stage were invaluable. He was good.

"There were a few very good keepers around like Jim Parks, John Murray, Roy Swetman. There were a lot more keepers as opposed to 'batter-keepers' as they are now.

"In those days the accent was more on keeping wicket and the bonus was when they could bat like Roy Booth could bat. He was a key member of the side."

Gifford, who returned a staggering 2,068 first class wickets in his own career, said: "It's great that Roy still comes to the ground regularly.

"He has kept his interest in Worcestershire and cricket and goes to all the old players functions."