15 Top cricketer

15 – Mick Fooks

VERY few in the history of Island cricket have given more to the game than this man of all positions, not least as a very fine wicket-keeper, arguably the very best domestic technician of the role. In total, ‘Micky’ wore the gloves in 10 inter-insulars, many of them memorable victories, but the very first was a nightmare. In 1969, seven years after featuring in a very strong Elizabeth College first XI in which he opened the batting ‘and played a valuable part in blunting the attacks’ wrote The Elizabethan magazine, the then Pessimists’ keeper won the gloves for the home game at College Field. Guernsey were shot out for a miserable 47.

But, there were many better days for the man under a green cap, for instance 1973 when he scored 17 down the order and picked up two victims as Jersey were beaten heavily. A year later he picked up one of many inter-island stumpings as Guernsey romped to a 10-wicket win. Some years later, once rival Caesareans were his team-mates in the Channel Islands Over-50s side, to which he was greatly committed.

In club cricket, throughout much of the 1960s he was with Pessimists and often opened the batting. In 1969, his 27 in a first-wicket partnership helped the old club go briefly top of the table. But he was soon to switch to Cobo, where he won everything before joining a Taverners’ side desperately trying to establish themselves in the top division. A key member of that side, Fooks appeared in three GCA KO finals for the club in the space of five seasons – all of them ending in defeat.

Fooks got more chances to bat at Taverners than he would have at Cobo, who he re-joined later in his career, winning more honours and, for a man then past his personal half-century, remaining remarkably agile and committed to the game.

In 2006 he was still playing domestic weekend cricket for Mavericks, keen to keep his hand in for the benefit of the Cl Over 50s. Big individual scores may have eluded him but, nevertheless, he was a dogged batsman who seldom gave his wicket away cheaply and always played with the team’s fortunes in mind.

A keen tourist, he also gave a lot to the Guernsey Touring Cricket Club and as great as his playing career was, his administrative work put it in the shade, with the man serving in a wide variety of key roles ranging from coaching to umpiring and as a selector to the full Island side.

He also served as president of the Guernsey Cricket Association between 1981 and 1983 and was a leading light in the formation of the Channel Islands Cricket Board, steering that umbrella organisation which temporarily saw the Cl as the ECB’s 39th county, alongside Keith Dennis from Jersey.

Pessimists go on top

‘PESSIMISTS went to the top of the cricket Division One with an easy win over

Optimists at the King George V Field last evening. Their second win this week took them to 15 points from nine matches – a point ahead of Cobo, who have also played nine, and two ahead of Rovers A, who have a match in hand. Amer and Fooks laid the foundation for a good score with an opening stand of 47 and that would have been enough to beat Optimists. Their wickets fell regularly, and they had only 21 on the board when the eighth fell. They reached 39 thanks to a kick in the tail from Spensley and Stagg.’

1985 Taverners side: Phil Bishop, Keith Mitchell, Mike Fooks, Trevor Ash, Peter Morris, Malcolm Harvey, Roger Weston, Dick Reid, Julian Wood and Alastair Tapp.


C Amer c and b Sherbourne                  34

M Fooks c Spensley b Beecher              27

B Preston c Sherbourne b Beecher        20

F Mackwood c Beecher b Hill                8

R Harbottle run out                              0

E Stark run out                                     2

G Lane st Martel b Hill                          0

B Porter c Hill b Beecher                       8

D Smith not out                                    2

Extras                                                   4

TOTAL (8 wkts)                                    105

B Stacey, R Kirkpatrick dnb

Bowling: Beecher 8-0-54-3, Sherbourne 5-0-37-1, Hill 3-0-10-2


B Hill c Fooks b Porter                          8

R Battye c Lane b Porter                       0

P Sherbourne c Porter b Kirkpatrick      3

B Youngs st Fooks b Kirkpatrick           0

J Martel lbw b Porter                            2

R Self b Kirkpatrick                               6

W Holland c Kirkpatrick b Porter           0

C Bromley c Mackwood b Kirkpatrick    0

A Spensley c and b Mackwood              7

J Stagg not out                                     10

R Beecher st Fooks b Stacey                2

Extras                                                   1

TOTAL                                                  39

Bowling: Kirkpatrick 5-2-9-4, Porter 4-0-11-4, Mackwood 2-0-17-1, Stacey 1.4-0-1-1

Other scores:

1969 – 27* EC v Bognor Regis

1970 – 26* Pessimists v Jsy St Lukes

1996 – 29 CI v Cornwall

1999 – 37* CI v Cornwall