Bill Petherbridge

1924 - 2011

When the One Great Scorer comes to mark against your name, He writes not that you won or lost but how you played the Game.
[Grantland Rice 1880-1954]

Bill Petherbridge, Yorkshire County Cricket Club’s second-team scorer from 1983 to 1996, died on March 9, aged 87.

This was reported on Yorkshire’s own website as follows: “A meticulous scorer who had a lifelong interest in cricket, Bill travelled the length and breadth of the country with Yorkshire Seconds, and was well respected by players and Club officials”.

A Bradford man born and bred, Bill lived at Wibsey with his wife, Doreen, and he took up his scoring role with the county upon his retirement from the Police Force in Bradford, where he reached the rank of superintendent. Most sports appealed to Bill, and in his younger days he played football for Bradford Police. In later years he enjoyed watching Rugby Union.

His brother is Edward Petherbridge, the well-known actor whose many roles have included playing Lord Peter Wimsey in several screen adaptations of Dorothy L. Sayers’s novels”

The following tribute appeared in The Yorkshire Post on Saturday 26 March 2011:

He took on the role in 1983 after answering a newspaper advertisement shortly after he retired from the West Riding Constabulary, and continued until 1996. It was an ideal post for him as he was very meticulous person and had a lifelong love of cricket. He was also a member of Yorkshire.

Mr Petherbridge, who was always known as Bill, travelled all over the country with the Second Eleven and was well respected by both players and club officials.

He was born in West Bowling, Bradford, and was the elder brother of Edward Petherbridge the renowned stage and television actor.

Bill Petherbridge was educated at Grange Boys’ School, Bradford, and on leaving worked in insurance. But at the outbreak of the Second World War he was called up and served in the RAF, mainly in India. After being demobbed in 1946, he joined Bradford City Police Force and worked his way up until, by the time he retired when he was 60, he had reached the rank of Superintendent with what was then the West Riding Constabulary.

While in the police, he became one of the first in the force to study with the Open University.

He was a quiet, thoughtful man who was a great reader, but also a lover of many sports and enjoyed cycling and walking all of which he pursued in retirement.

In his younger days, he played cricket and football for Bradford Police, and in later years followed Bradford Northern Rugby League team, now The Bulls, and later enjoyed watching rugby union on television.

He was also been a keen golfer and had been a member of Northcliffe Golf Club, Saltaire. As a cyclist he would take his small folding cycle in the boot of his car and drive to favourite places such as Shipley Glen, where he would then go for a ride.

In 1948 he married Doreen Mawby who he had known since childhood and who lived close by. They also both loved dancing.

Mr Petherbridge is survived by his wife Doreen, his three sons, five grandchildren, and his younger brother.

Mike Snook, Yorkshire’s current Second Eleven scorer writes: “Many of my colleagues on the Second Eleven circuit will remember Bill, particularly for his wanderings when he would venture away from the scorebox with his scoresheet on a clipboard, returning overs later to crosscheck with his colleague that they were in agreement. I used to joke that the first bit of kit that Yorkshire issued to me when I took over from Bill midway through the 1996 season was a ball and chain to keep me from wandering far and wide! Bill travelled more often than not with Doug Padgett, the former Yorkshire coach, who had tales to tell of rainy days spent away with Bill in the public gallery of the local magistrate’s court when play was abandoned for the day on distant grounds.

Keith Gerrish writes: I scored with him on a number of occasions. He was a lovely man, with the unusual habit of going walkabout during part of each day’s play.

I remember him at Todmorden, Bradford and Bristol.