Friday, April 29th, 2016

Steve Rhodes, Sir Michael Parkinson And David Gower Tributes To Tom Graveney

Steve Rhodes, Sir Michael Parkinson And David Gower Tributes To Tom Graveney

Worcestershire Director of Cricket Steve Rhodes, Sir Michael Parkinson and ex England batsman David Gower were amongst those who paid tribute today when attending a Thanksgiving Service for Tom Graveney at Worcester Cathedral.

County and England batting legend Graveney had a spell as Worcestershire CCC president during the time of Rhodes own distinguished playing career at New Road.

Sir Michael Parkinson hosted a tribute in the Cathedral to Graveney in which he spoke to Tom's son Tim, Sir Tim Rice, another Worcestershire legend in current spin bowling coach Norman Gifford and Tom's nephew and former Gloucestershire spinner and chairman of the England selectors, David Graveney.

Gower was a similar elegant player to Graveney and the former England left hander admits the pair had a "certain amount of kindred spirit."


"Anyone who has got 100 hundreds is a terrific batsman and he has an amazing record. I never saw him play. I would have loved to have seen him play because everyone tells me what a great player he was, particularly his cover drive.

"But he was a lovely man, he had some great stories, he was good with the lads, and he certainly entertained the lads with some of his old stories which were brilliant.

"He played his full part in Worcestershire's history after qualifying for a year when moving from Gloucestershire and enjoyed some magnificent years playing with Worcestershire and England.

"Virtually all of his career was played on uncovered wickets and it was difficult with spinners bowling as well on drying wickets.

"I know Norman Gifford tells me lots of stories about Tom and he was a stickler for having a net in the morning. Preparation wise he was good in a time when I suppose preparation wasn't a massive thing but he made sure he had the same routine every day."


"Listening to tributes today reminded me of certain similarities. Looking at the stats, our Test match stats were similar. The number of county runs he made is excessively more.

"Tom was one of those people who loved the game and obviously very proud of everything he did, quite rightly so.

"He had that grace, elegance and style that people treasure.

"That kind of thing can be handed down generation to generation.There is a certain amount of kindred spirit involved here.

"It was very good to be here and remember fondly one of the greats of the game.

"There is an affection that lingers for peope like Tom. By the time I was around playing, Tom was in commentary boxes.

"I used to listen to his words, sometimes unwillingly, other times very willingly, but he was always a fair judge and again the same thing came through, an affection for the game and affection for people who play the game."


"As a player, he was just one of my great heroes throughout his entire career. There wasn't anyone I would care to watch more than Tom. If it wasn't Tom, it was David Gower.

"Gower himself played again in exactly the same kind of way which again is why he was such a star.

"I knew Tom as a man as well and became a friend of his. He was just a great, charming man and he had no edge about him. There was nothing pompous about him.

"He didn't think he was all that great and he was just a great example for all sportsmen – and he just happened to be glorious."