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Kent Cricket People: Roy and Pearl Lungley

Friday 24th April 2015

Two of the most familiar faces at Kent Cricket are Roy and Pearl Lungley, who have been involved with stewarding and other duties for the County for almost 20 years, writes Peter Burrowes.

Next August will be a special celebration for the couple as they will have both reached their 70th birthdays and their 50th wedding anniversary with cricket still playing an important part in their busy lives.

After being a Kent police officer for 25 years and a dog handler, Roy often used to be on duty in and around The Spitfire Ground, St Lawrence so when he retired he glady accepted the invitation to become a club steward.

This was around the time when the County were hosting some World Cup games and Pearl volunteered and the couple have been around ever since.

For many years, Roy was the first port of call for supporters wanting to purchase a scorecard or a newspaper from his kiosk and he also provided a similar service at the out grounds.

It meant Roy moved on to become the scoreboard operator in the Les Ames Stand which allows him to see every ball bowled.

“It is a pretty ancient construction and sometimes goes wrong. It is worked by pulley strings with are all labelled with numbers but we only have an inch square gap to see through whether the right numbers are in the right place.

"It requires a lot of concentration and patience but luckily I have some excellent helpers to assist me”.

Roy says that limited-overs games can be particularly stressful at times because of the pace at which they are played

“We have to keep our wits about us and stay focused. The scoreboard crew are in regular contact with Kent first XI scorer Lorne Hart, who is based on the opposite side of the ground and can immediately spot any problems they are encountering.

The couple have made many friends amongst Kent members and Roy still has a chance to meet up and chat with them during the lunch break.

If there are long breaks without play because of the weather Roy can often be seen helping out in the Club Shop to keep him occupied.

Wife Pearl is one of the Club’s Safety Zone Supervisors and is responsible for the area around the Frank Woolley Stand, Chiesman Pavilion and club offices. One of her main tasks is to make sure the players, umpires and committee members' cars are parked in the right place and nobody dares to query Pearl’s instructions.

The couple are followers of most sports and Roy played club cricket for Harbledown and is also very much involved in Blean Village Football Club as a secretary and referee.

They are regular visitors to Australia where Pearl’s brother Ray used to live and whilst there took the opportunity to watch plenty of cricket including two Ashes series and they have visited the major cricket venues in Melbourne Sydney and Perth.

For Roy and Pearl one of the great pleasures of working for the County is the continued opportunity to watch cricket whilst still carrying out their duties and Roy enjoys watching the development of the young players from the Kent Cricket Academy through to the first team.

“The County has always encouraged the young players and it is great to see the likes of Adam Ball, Daniel Bell-Drummond, Fabian Cowdrey, Sam Billings, and Adam Riley doing so well."

With that personal Golden Jubilee coming up for the couple during the season they would like nothing more than seeing Kent win a trophy this coming season. That would certainly put the icing on their cake!