18 Top cricketer

18 -Bill Robilliard

YOU will not find centuries or many match-winning innings among Bill Robilliard’s cricketing CV, but his place in the sport’s folklore should never be under-estimated. As a wicket keeper, he showed the way for the modern generation with silky hands and bravery standing up to the stumps.


J. Swift st Robilliard b Barrett     31

D. Burnham c Druce b Rogers    0

S. Highcock b Smart                  5

I. McKitterick b Barrett              5

D. Wood c Barren b Eley            15

M. Blythe b Barrett                     3

C. Green c Cleal b Barrett           29

P. Conway lbw b Barrett             0

J. Vardon b Barren                     4

L. Watkins run out                      6

P. Hague not out                        0

Extras                                        20

Total                                          118

Bowling: Shepherd 3-1-8-0; Rogers 7-3-16-1; Smart 9-1-26-1; Barren 10.4-3-25-6; Eley 6-0-23-1


S. R Cleal b Vardon                    28

W. Robilliard b Wood                  50

D. R. Vaudin lbw b McKitterick   0

W. E. R. Barrett not out             34

G. Le Tlssier not out                   6

Extras                                         2

Total (for 3 wkt)                         120

Bowling: Vardon 7-0-19-1; Conway 4-0-28-0; McKitterick 4-O-27-l; Green 3-0-24-0; Wood 2-0-11-1; Haig 4-0-9-0

Whether it was for Pilgrims, Rovers or the Guernsey Cricket League, which he captained for several years, he was a very capable batsman and, in time, he would rise to become skipper of the full Island side. But, what significantly elevates his score in this countdown of top cricketers is his outstanding administrative work. At a time when the Guernsey Cricket League were growing the sport in the face of significant opposition from fast pitch softball, Robilliard captained the GCL for three years before serving a seven-year stint as vice-president and then moving into the top seat at the time of the body’s 50th anniversary celebrations. And amid his outstanding work with the Guernsey Sports Council, he would play a leading role in security the Osmond Priaulx Playing Fields for sport and, of course, cricket, which had previously been so reliant on the KGV and College grounds.

His glovework was supreme and as Rovers began to dominate the evening game in the 1960s like no side before or since, he was immaculate in standing up to the likes of Ricky Mills, who could rely on his keeper dealing with anything thrown down the leg side as a negative tactic at a time when there had yet to be a clamping down on such bowling. By then he was predominantly in the side for his keeping, but as a Pilgrim he had often opened and been a consistent scorer.

His first Island cap arrived in 1953 and for the next decade or so he won eight caps, becoming skipper in 1966. But it was the briefest of times in charge, as the next season he was back among the ranks and soon after Micky Fooks stepped up to fulfil the important keeper’s role.

As a batsman he had his share of half-centuries, one of his more impressive innings being a 50 for the GCL against University College Oxford in 1962.

Such was the strength of the Rovers A batting his chances for time at the crease became rare, but in the title-winning season of 1965 he struck a fine 45 when pushed up to open. His playing career over, he moved. into umpiring, where he was among the very best.

ROVERS in 1965

J . le M. Martel c & b Rogers                 8

W. Robilliard c James b Rogers             45

R. C. Kimber not out                             22

T. Nicholls not out                                14

Extras                                                  9

Total (for 2 wkts)                                 108

R. Blanchford, R. Queripel, S. Prince, R. Mills, P. Carre, D. Sweet and R. W. Foote did not bat.

Bowling: Rogers 6-0-54-2, Jones 6-0-45-0


G. Le Tissier b Mills                               4

G. James b Mills                                   3

P. Burgess b Queripel                           0

J. Rogers b Blanchford                          16

P. Ridley b Queripel                              1

K. Stevens c Sweet b Queripel             7

D. Falla b Queripel                               0

G. Jones b Nicholls                               6

S. Ashwell not out                                1

S. Harvey c Nicholls b Blanchford          0

D. Batiste b Nicholls                             5

Extras                                                   2

Total                                                     45

Bowling: Mills 5 -0-17 -2, Queripel 3-1-11-4, Nicholls 3-0-12-2. Blanchford 1-0-3-2.