George Downton 1928 – 2014 – Obituary

Tuesday 20th May 2014

George Downton, one of Kent's wicketkeepers and father of Kent, Middlesex and England wicketkeeper Paul Downton, died at Sevenoaks on 19th April aged 85.

He played eight Championship matches for Kent in 1948 and ten first-class matches overall. 1948 was an Ashes year – the year of Bradman's Invincibles. Godfrey Evans was the England keeper in all five Tests and was not available for Kent in ten matches. In the two matches that covered the first Test, Douglas Raikes, the former Oxford University and Gloucestershire Amateur, who had last played first class cricket in 1932, filled in and George Downton played in the remaining matches.

Downton's two other first-class matches were for MCC at Lord's against Cambridge University in 1957 and Oxford University in 1959 – in a side that included Keith Miller, Jim Parks and Peter Richardson. In the MCC first innings he was bowled by David Sayer playing his 2nd year for the dark blues. Downton also played for Kent II in the Minor Counties Championship between 1948 and 1954.

Downton was a regular for the Club Cricket Conference in the days when the CCC played fixtures against the touring sides, and he represented the cream of southern club cricketers against New Zealand in 1948, West Indies in 1950 & 1963, Pakistan in 1954 & 1962, India in 1959, and Australia in 1961. He played his club cricket for Sevenoaks Vine who in the 1950's and 1960's were the dominant side in Kent.