Friday, April 29th, 2016

Packed Worcester Cathedral For Tom Graveney Thanksgiving Service

Packed Worcester Cathedral For Tom Graveney Thanksgiving Service

Worcester Cathedral was packed to the rafters this afternoon for a Service of Thanksgiving for the life of Worcestershire's legendary batsman Tom Graveney.

Sir Michael Parkinson CBE paid tribute to Tom who died in November aged 88 and he was accompanied in a question and answer session by Sir Tim Rice, former Worcestershire captain Norman Gifford, Tom's nephew David Graveney OBE and Tom's son Tim Graveney.

Tom Graveney, whose elegant strokeplay was inbedded in the memory of anyone fortunate enough to watch him play, scored 47,793 first class runs with 122 hundreds at an average of 44.91 – most of them on uncovered wickets.

He amassed 4,882 runs for England at an average of 44.38 with 11 centuries between 1951 and 1969.

Tim Graveney said: "Michael Parkinson agreed to speak and do one of his little chat shows so we had a slightly different service of thanksgiving rather than a traditional one

"He spoke to Giff, to David Graveney, Sir Tim Rice and myself, exactly like a 'Michael Parkinson Show' although it obviously was pretty informal."

The congregation was welcomed by the Dean of Worcester, The Very Reverend Dr. Peter Atkinson followed by the Hym 'Love Divine, All Loves Excelling.'

A prayer from The Dea of Worcester was followed by the Sir Michael Parkinson tribute and then came the Hymn 'Lord Of The Dance.'

This was followed by a reading by the MCC President, Roger Knight OBE – a reading from the book of Ecclesiasticus.

The Cathedral choir then sang an anthemn 'Crossing The Bar' by Alfred Lord Tennyson-Sir Hubert Parry.

The service continued with an address and prayers by Reverend Prebendary Mike Vockins OBE who was Worcestershire CCC secretary for three decades until 2001.

Tim Graveney's children, Holly and Monty, then read the poems 'Afterglow' and 'Resurrection at Lord's' respectively.

The service concluded with the Hymn 'Jerusalem', the blessing by the Dean of Worcester and the organist playing Fantasia in G by Bach.

A collection was taken in Tom Graveney's memory for Parkinson's UK. In the latter part of his life, Tom suffered from Parkinson's Disease.

Tom Graveney was a member of Worcestershire's County Championship winning side of 1964 and 1965 following his move from Gloucestershire, regained his England Test spot in 1966 and became captain of the County from 1968 to 1970.

After his retirement from county cricket in 1970, he enjoyed a distinguished career in broadcasting with Test Match Special and was Worcestershire president from 1994 to 1998 before becoming president of the MCC for 2004-2005.