Our President, and one of the most senior of Yorkshire County Cricket Club’s capped players, Ted Lester, died on 23rd March at the age of 92. Ted died in his home town of Scarborough where he had lived all his life.
An honorary life member of Yorkshire CCC, Ted gave almost half-a century of loyal and continuous service to his native county. He was a hard-hitting right-hand batsman for the Club between 1945-1956 after which he became second team captain before taking over as first team scorer.
He did the job full time until current scorer, John Potter, filled in for away matches from 1989 onwards, and he finally put away his pencil completely at the end of the 1992 season.
He followed the progress of our association closely throughout his time as President and was always supportive of our work.
He was an attractive, attacking batsman, who set many records for Scarborough Cricket Club. In 1947, Ted finished third in the national averages with a batting average of 73, with only the great Middlesex and England pair of Denis Compton and Bill Edrich finishing above him. He played in 232 matches for Yorkshire, scoring 10,616 runs and hitting 24 centuries, six of them coming in 1952 when he scored 1,786 runs and averaged 49.61. Ted was in even better form in 1949 when he totalled 1,801 runs and hit his career-best score of 186 against Warwickshire on his home ground at Scarborough.
Ted was proud to have batted with Herbert Sutcliffe and Len Hutton; and he was very pleased to have played against his boyhood hero, Don Bradman in a match at Bramall Lane.
In a tribute to Ted, Yorkshire vice-president and Cricket Writers’ Club president, David Warner, said: “I have very happy memories of Ted Lester going back to 1975 when I first started covering Yorkshire cricket. Ted, my cricket writing colleague, John Callaghan, and myself, travelled the country to Yorkshire matches together and we had some marvellous times.
“I learned a great deal about first class cricket from Ted, who knew the game inside out. He was always happy to pass on his great knowledge but he was extremely modest about his own career and would only speak about it if pressed to do so.
“He was respected by players past and present and his death is a tremendous loss to Yorkshire cricket.”
Ted leaves a widow, Mary, and a son and a daughter.
Tony Kingston remembers that Ted was his first scoring colleague when he scored his his first first XI match for Northants at Headingley in April 1990.