Oakworth Cricket Club - Player Profile
Frank Morley [1941-2016]
[First Xl 1976-1995, Second Xl 1984-2004]
passed away on 10th January 2016, aged 74. He had battled brain cancer for
the previous 5 years but finally succumbed to the disease just after the New
Year, having spent Xmas with his family. He leaves his wife Barbara, sons
Philip and Paul and four young grand-children, to whom the club extends
One of life's gentlemen Frank had a wicked sense of humour and was not known to ever lose his temper, he was a pleasure to know and will be sorely missed by all who knew him.
Before coming to Oakworth, Frank Morley learned his cricket at Hemsworth Grammar School and Barnsley CC, where he played in the same team as a certain Geoffrey Boycott. Frank was a Mathematics teacher at Greenhead Grammar School and Beckfoot School, where he became head of Maths. An excellent badminton player, Rugby referee and Scout leader, accomplished pianist and guitarist, Frank Morley was a 'true' all rounder, who enjoyed camping, caravanning, walking and socialising, usually with a glass of [french] wine or beer.
His cricket in this area was first on offer at Keighley CC and later at Silsden CC, where he enjoyed much success as a stylish batsman before hanging up his boots in the early 1970s. It was former Oakworth Captain and Umpire David Greenwood who enticed Frank out of 'retirement' to help out a short-handed Oakworth XI in 1976 and which would eventually lead to his primary occupation on Summer Saturday afternoons again being cricket, this time for Oakworth CC. That initial cricketting debut in the [former] West Bradford League was on 24th April 1976 away against local rivals the Haworth Methodists. Frank scored just 10 before being given out lbw to Paul Helliwell. He also played a fortnight later at Ingrow but made a duck. So Frank's boots went back in the shed for the next 10 years!!
But at the age of 44 in 1986 he was persuaded to make another come back but didn't bat in his first two matches. There was to be a total of 89 appearances in the Craven League for Oakworth First Xl along with 18 Sunday cup-ties. Perhaps his best performance for the First Xl was the 89 no against Bradley on 1st July 1989 where he stroked 10 fours and 2 sixes, although his 87 not out a year earlier against Riddlesden revealed his powerful array of strokes which produced 6 fours and 5 sixes.
There was one famous occasion when Frank was batting with Steve Hartley at Gargrave when an all-run 5 was scored. Steve almost lapped Frank much to everyone's mirth.
His last appearance for the First Xl was a cameo on 8th June 1997 when he made 20 not out in the Wynn Cup against Thornton. But throughout Frank's stint at Oakworth Frank was always willing to give more of his time and he frequently helped out the Second Xl, which included his two sons Philip and Paul. For that team Frank ultimately added a further 33 appearances before the boots were finally 'burned'. So his last innings was on 11th September 2004, aged just shy of 63, the oldest man to play for OCC, scoring 2 runs against then rivals Embsay lls.
In 1992 he was a proud recipient of a winners memento for the Second team Third Division Championship under skipper Tom Shields. [above, 2nd from right back row].
Frank Morley chipped in 9 fifties for the Fist Xl and another 8 for the Second Xi. He will be fondly remembered for his titanic 152no vs Upper Wharfedale lls on 7th September 1991, approaching his 50th birthday. 19 sumptuous fours and 4 sixes graced his innings, at the time a Second Xl club record. It lies fourth on that list. After an opening stand with 17 year old Dean Thompson , Frank was partnered by Richard Atkinson, whose gritty 50 enabled Frank to fluently construct his record. Oakworth tallied a mammoth 273-3 and not surprisingly took full points from the Dales-men by a huge 178 runs.
Frank's 64 runs on 29th May 1999 against Barrowford lls remains a club' fifty by its oldest player as Frank was 57 years and 8 months old, his innings is still the 'oldest' of 18 by only five batsmen who have scored 50 having passed their 50th birthdays.
But to understand his immense value to the Club, note that from 1988-2005 he was a General Committee member whilst still playing for the Second Xl of the early 1990s, note also that Frank retains the highest average of any 2nd Xl player [minimum of 30 innings] a stunning 41.04 [all matches] and 45.00 [league matches].
REST IN PEACE FRANK, YOU WILL BE REMEMBERED AS ONE OF THE GOOD GUYS AND A TERRIFIC CRICKETER