All at Warwickshire County Cricket Club are saddened to hear of the passing of Club Member, Warwickshire 70+ Team Founder and 60+ supporter Don Bates, who passed away recently aged 79.
Warwickshire 60+ an 70+ Manager Phil Budd pays tribute.
When Warwickshire’s 60+ started in the National County Championship in 2011 Don was always very willing to help out, sometimes at very short notice.
In those early days, because of the lack of players, it was always difficult to replace someone who got injured or became unavailable for whatever reason at short notice. A telephone call to Don, even if he took the call when he was playing golf, he would come to the cricket match straight after.
Singlehandedly he took on the task of setting up Warwickshire’s 70+ team in 2014 to compete in that section of the same competition as 60+.
The very first County match took place in in May of that year, at Avoncroft CC versus Worcestershire, with Don as the very proud Captain. We now comfortably field two 70+ sides and it is all down to Don’s sterling work in organising all of the fixtures, grounds, umpires and scorers, to include several tours of Wales together with an annual players’ and wives’ lunch at Edgbaston to coincide with watching the professional men’s team for the day.
In 2019 Don was honoured as one of the Cricketers of the Year by the Midlands Club Cricket Conference for his services in respect of the 70+ team and he was presented with his award by John Barclay, ex-Sussex CCC and also a former Manager of England men’s overseas tours.
Just after lockdown in March, after returning from a skiing holiday, Don was diagnosed with cancer of the oesophagus. He bravely faced the chemotherapy sessions, even managing to see many of 70+ matches in this restricted summer, travelling with his wife Deborah to games including Worcestershire and Leicestershire.
Sadly the cancer has beaten him and whilst he will be greatly missed by us all, that old Umpire in the sky has decided he needs Don for other duties.