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Wicket keeper 'Gloves' Gladwell dies at the age of 94

Cricketing Community loses 'best-ever' player

TRIBUTES have been paid to one of Shropshire's best ever cricketers.

Gerry Gladwell, a well-respected figure amongst the county's cricket fraternity, died this week aged 94

Mr Gladwell, of Newport, was a fanatical lover of the game and a popular youth coach.

He also held the record for the highest-scoring partnership, at Newport Cricket Club - 219 runs alongside Colin Wright in 1953 - which stood until 2005.

Nephew Dave Gladwell said: "The one word which sums up Gerry is respect". Everyone called him Mr Gladwell.

Everywhere he went people wanted to talk to him. He always made sure all who played with him played sportingly.

Gerry was a member at a lot of cricket clubs including Warwickshire, Worcestershire, Leicestershire and Trent Bridge. Worcestershire was the one he really loved going to. He would drive there up to the age of 90. Cricket was his life.

"But he would never go on a Saturday - that was for local cricket."

Wicket keeper Mr Gladwell, who had been a Japanese prisoner of war, got close to earning a professional contract in the 1950s but eventually became a teacher at Shooting Butts School in Staffordshire, then taught at Apley Park School in Bridgnorth from 1972 to 1974.

It was then that Mr Gladwell, known as Gloves Gladwell, started at Newport Cricket Club where he was captain. He represented Shropshire on numerous occasions and later played for Lilleshall Cricket Club.

When he finally hung up his gloves in the 1970s he focussed on youth coaching, helping hundreds of youngsters in the sport and holding the highest qualification.

He was life president at Nerport Cricket Club, where he even had his own designated parking space, and rarely missed a match.

Steve Aston, performance director at Shropshire Cricket Board, described him as one of the best wicket keepers Shropshire has ever produced.

He added: "He would always be talking 'to people about cricket' - he was a mine of information."

Tony Finch, the chairman of Newport Cricket Club, said: "Gerry was a big influence on a lot of players". Who are now seasoned cricketers.

"He always had time for people. He was Mr Shropshire Cricket."

Mr Gladwell's funeral will be at Telford Crematorium on November 2 at 10am and the hearse will pass through, Newport beforehand.

Gerry Gladwell