AMMANFORD Cricket Club was this week devastated by news of the death of one of its best-loved servants, Gary ‘Scorer’ Phillips, affectionately known simply as ‘G’.
Week in, week out, every summer – apart from an annual trip to Colwyn Bay to watch Glamorgan play Lancashire – Gary would be ensconced in his scorebox – known as Gary’s Den – meticulously keeping a record of match scores, and armed with a multitude of different coloured pencils, each of which held its own significance in the score book. To read a score sheet recorded by Gary was as close as you got to actually watching the game.
Club Chairman and former captain Jeff Roach, who himself began scoring for the club at the age of 11 and played his first game back in 1968, remembers Gary joining the club as a useful left-arm spinner. ‘He decided his future was in serving the club as scorer,’ said Roach, ‘and he did that superbly and selflessly for over thirty years. He was a gentle, generous man whose ruling passion was cricket in general and Ammanford cricket in particular. The club cannot express its gratitude for his lifetime of service and we will all miss him greatly.’
Ammanford captain Alun Evans acknowledged a huge debt to Gary, whose knowledge of player stats informed the skipper’s match strategy as they travelled together to away matches. Even more important than his knowledge of cricket was his friendship, not just to the skipper but to all the players in the club.
‘The boys idolised him,’ said Evans. ‘When we won a match, all the boys would wait for G to emerge from the scorebox and raise his fist in delight at the victory. That was the signal for celebrations to begin.’
The club WhatsApp group was awash last weekend with expressions of grief and sadness at its loss. One of these messages came from St Vincent in the Caribbean. Linton Lewis, who broke all batting records for Ammanford throughout the 1980s, wrote ‘Gary will always be remembered for his contribution not only as a scorer but as a supporter whose heart has always been directly been linked to the interest of the club.’
Rest in peace, G.