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Grantham area sporting scene mourns Brian Stubley



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The Grantham and district sporting world is still mourning the passing of Brian Stubley who died recently, aged 78.

Brian was born in Woolsthorpe-by-Belvoir and was schooled there before continuing his education at the King's School, Grantham, and taking up employment with the GPO (later British Telecom).

An all-round sportsman, Brian's great passion was cricket in which he became interested at a young age. He played for King's School under-14s and was turning out regularly for Woolsthorpe by the age of 15.

Brian Stubley at the crease at Edgbaston in 1976. (56811742)
Brian Stubley at the crease at Edgbaston in 1976. (56811742)

Brian stayed with Woolsthorpe for 27 seasons and his playing record speaks for itself – 18,340 runs (including 13 centuries), 2,136 wickets and 373 catches, winning a total of 17 trophies. He also achieved the double of 1,000 runs and 100 wickets in two consecutive years, and took 100 wickets in a season nine times – the best being 138 wickets in 1974.

His bowling economy rate over his career with the village club was 2.78 runs per over, measured from 9,101 overs in 27 seasons.

Over the years Brian held the offices of club captain, treasurer, secretary and groundsman. He would help Bill Parsons prepare the wicket for the afternoon match and continued to do so until he retired from cricket.

He was something of a perfectionist and if one of the Woolsthorpe lads misfielded off his bowling they would have known about it from Brian. Fortunately it was all taken in good part and quickly forgotten about over a pint in the Chequers Inn.

Brian Stubley walks back to the pavilion having been caught on the boundary in the 1983 Thompson Cup Final between Woolsthorpe and Buckminster. (56811747)
Brian Stubley walks back to the pavilion having been caught on the boundary in the 1983 Thompson Cup Final between Woolsthorpe and Buckminster. (56811747)

Brian was made a life member of Woolsthorpe in 1988, having served as club secretary for 14 years, captain for five seasons and groundsman for the best part of 20 years.

Brian represented the Midland Region of British Telecom, twice winning in the final at Edgbaston. He played on the County Grounds of Somerset, Yorkshire and Glamorgan.

He was also a guest player for Vic Heppenstall's XI and Mick Marsh's XI for several years. Brian captained the last match to be played on the old London Road Ground, between a District Representative XI and Grantham Cricket Club.

Despite Brian's love of the sound of leather on willow, he also made time for other sports such as football, golf and rugby union.

He played football for Woolsthorpe Rovers under the management of Eric Pashley for a number of years, before moving on to Harrowby United. He captained both teams.

He also played football for the GPO/BT Midland Region team and helped take them to the National Competition final in its inaugural year.

Brian took up refereeing after his playing career ended, but he retired at the age of 38 as a Class One referee when he was told he was too old for promotion. At least it enabled him to return to being a season ticket holder at his beloved Nottingham Forest.

Brian took up golf in 1985 when he joined Stoke Rochford. He captained the B team for two years in the South Lincs League, winning the title both years. He was a single figure golfer for 18 years with his best handicap being six.

Brian Stubley (left) adopted golf his sport of choice from the mid-1980s. (56811750)
Brian Stubley (left) adopted golf his sport of choice from the mid-1980s. (56811750)

He enjoyed the game with great success for many years, retiring from his job at the age of 50 to concentrate on golf, but became very frustrated with his deteriorating ability, especially his short game, from around the age of 60.

Brian was a Stoke Rochford committee member from 2002 for five years, and when he retired from playing he made weekly visits to the the club to have a chat and a drink with friends.

Brian's sporting success was centred around his motto "if a job is worth doing it is worth doing well", and he will be greatly missed by all those who knew and loved him.



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