Albert Elsdon – Medomsley Cricket Club – 1972
In the picturesque village of High Westwood, Medomsley Cricket Club has been a pillar of sporting excellence for decades. One name that stands out among the club’s illustrious history is Albert Elsdon, a cricketing maestro whose talent and dedication left an indelible mark on the local community.
In the 1970s, Medomsley Cricket Club, nestled in the heart of County Durham, thrived in the competitive Durham County League, where cricket of the highest standard was played, often featuring professional players. For Albert Elsdon, who had played a crucial role in raising Medomsley’s fortunes since 1929, cricket was more than just a sport—it was a passion that he carried throughout his life.
Despite being in his 60s during the 1970s, Albert’s skills as a cricketer were still as sharp as ever. Having started his cricketing journey as an opening bat at Langley Park, Albert quickly honed his leg-spinning abilities, becoming one of the finest leg-spinners in the county. His record of 650 victims in just five seasons significantly contributed to Medomsley’s four successive North West Durham titles, a feat that was unmatched at the time.
With Albert’s expert spin, complemented by George Hurst’s penetrating bowling, Medomsley’s success continued when they were elected to the Tyneside Senior League in 1934. Albert’s bowling prowess continued to shine as he secured 477 wickets in six seasons, solidifying his place as one of the league’s standout performers.
The pinnacle of Albert Elsdon’s cricketing journey came in 1938 when he was handpicked to represent the Minor Counties against none other than the legendary Don Bradman’s touring Australian team—an honour that filled him with immense pride, and rightly so.
As time passed, Albert’s eyesight started to fade, but that didn’t deter him from making an impact on the cricket field. In a remarkable incident during a match in the 1970s, facing a young and swift opposition bowler, Albert tactfully requested the bowler to direct his fiery deliveries towards his bat rather than the stumps, showcasing his wit and experience.
A living legend in the region, Albert Elsdon was also an essential part of the local community, residing in a cozy end-terrace house just across the school in High Westwood. His contributions extended beyond the boundary ropes as he inspired and nurtured many budding cricketers in the area.
In 1972, the photograph above captures a significant moment at the Medomsley Cricket Club Dinner, held in the Civic Hall, where various outstanding players were honored for their contributions to the team. Among them were Davy Moore, Geoff Bell, Ray Agar, and Brian Harkness, each an integral part of the club’s legacy.
Notably, the Medomsley Cricket Club continues to thrive, boasting multiple teams and even a dedicated women’s team, a testament to the enduring spirit of cricket in the community. With Albert Elsdon’s legacy living on, the club remains an inspiration for young talents, keeping the sport alive and cherished in the hearts of locals.
As the years pass, the memory of Albert Elsdon’s exemplary cricketing journey and his unwavering dedication to the game will continue to resonate through the Medomsley Cricket Club and the community it represents.
Thanks to Ray Agar for sending this info over.