Ted Enevoldsen

Obituary of Ted Enevoldsen         by Rob Batiste        8th November 2023

Ted Enevoldsen

CRICKET used to be noted for its gents and in that category few, if any, were more gentlemanly, graciously friendly and respected locally than Ted Enevoldsen – or ECG Enevoldsen on the team card.

But Ted was not simply a successful cricketer. Long before he spun his final ball in 2006 and well into his seventies, he had risen to the rank of inspector and retired from Guernsey Police. The only son of Evelyn and Edward Enevoldsen, whose father originated from Denmark, young Ted grew up in Talbot Valley, except for the war years, which were spent in Manchester. Back on island he went to Les Vauxbelets College where the then young Pere Lecluze was spiritual guide. Years passed but to the renowned catholic priest, Ted was always ‘Teddy’. At Les Vauxbelets, Ted passed exams and honed his sporting skills, including cricket. After school, he worked for some time at the Charroterie sawmill and briefly for the Guernsey Evening Press and Star before joining the Guernsey police force.

His funeral eulogy spoke on many hilarious tales of the early years of his career, especially during night shifts, which were relatively uneventful compared to these days. He slowly rose through the ranks to detective inspector and during these years experienced tragic shipwrecks to royal visits and everything in between. He also headed up the dog section while he was an inspector. Some of his colleagues occasionally called him Inspector Clouseau, which is testament to his natural humour.

He was a true gentleman and was well liked even by the criminal fraternity. As a long-serving policeman who rose to the rank of detective inspector, Ted preferred the ‘quiet word’ approach to policing. Over the years, many people have gone on record as saying that Ted had made a difference to their lives. But after 25 years with the police force, he retired and had a second career in Court Row with the law firm Carey Langlois, where he earned the nickname ‘Techno Ted’ due to his frustration with the new-fangled technology.

‘IF ANYBODY deserves legendary status, it is Ted.’ The words in 2006 of the most capped player in Guernsey cricket history, Ralph Anthony, describing the man he calls one of his ‘mentors’, Ted Enevoldsen, who retired from the evening league on Wednesday.

The Salemites stalwart admitted that the now-72-year-old has had an enormous influence on his career from the day it began right up to the present. ‘He played in my very first evening league match 41 years ago when we were both playing for Optimists. ‘That day I got a duck batting at eight or nine and, being a youngster, I thought the world had come to an end. ‘Ted and Len Martel came to me in the dressing room, put their arms around my shoulder and said, ?you will get a lot more noughts in this game, but you will also get a lot more pleasure?. I have never forgotten that.’ Anthony emphasised that so much could be learnt from ‘gentleman cricketers’ such as Enevoldsen. ‘Ted and Ricky Mills have been, if anything, my mentors through the years and I looked to them for the way I play the game.

Away from work Ted embraced the sporting life and was to be seen dashing off for a game of football, rugby, tennis, squash, hockey, golf and, his main recreation, cricket. Although bare statistics and representative record do not place him in the game’s all-time elite, long before retirement he had become a Guernsey cricketing legend and, whether it be at the College Field, KGV or any of the lesser local grounds, he was a friend of everyone he played with or came up against.

Nobody ever had a bad word to say about Ted, who was afforded a post-game champagne reception after taking two wickets in his final over of Evening League action playing for Pessimists against Optimists, of all clubs. ‘In my mind cricket is the best game ever invented,’ he said afterwards. ‘The joy has been playing alongside the youngsters – it makes me feel young,’ he said that night.

Although remembered as a wily off-spinner, when he first emerged on the scene in the early 1950s it was as a quickish swing bowler and effective one too. He was 16 when Pessimists captain Tom Knight invited him to join the club which then dominated the local scene. He would play for the ‘Ps’ for seven seasons, but in 1959 he was opening the bowling for Optimists and that season took six for 26 against Rovers and six for five against the Herald.

Ted playing for Pessimists

His burgeoning police career impinged on his cricket at the start of the 1960s, but in 1967 he made the full Island team and on debut against Jersey took four for 33 from 23 overs of spin in a drawn game at the College Field. Tying up the Caesarean batsmen he claimed three for nine in the last 12 overs of a long spell, his last eight overs being maidens. A year later he was Guernsey captain and typically of his generous, self-effacing nature, he did not bowl himself. While continuing to be a stalwart of the GlCC (Guernsey Island Cricket Club), that 1968 inter-insular clash was the end of his representative career, but far from the end of his influence on the domestic game which had taken a turn when Jack Reddish had advised him to forget the quicker stuff and take up spin bowling. He would continue to play with Optimists for many years yet before switching moods again and rejoining Pessimists, helping them to a First Division championship.

In his time, Ted played against and bowled to a few of the game’s very best players, including Sir Garfield Sobers, the legendary West Indian who came to Guernsey in 1968.

In 2005 the Guernsey Press published the following article:

The highlight of his career was when he took six for 68 against Hampshire when they visited the island in 1968. Another top moment was when he played against a certain Gary Sobers at the College Field and Enevoldsen vividly remembers one shot that the great West Indian all-rounder hit off him.

‘Sobers hit me for the lowest-elevated six in my life. ‘It passed me by my knee cap and it bounced just short of the gate at the Rue a l’Or end. He is without the doubt the best player that I ever played against. ‘He bowled his full repertoire that day and when he batted, it was a delight to watch.’

Cricketers against whom Enevoldsen has played reads like a Who’s Who of great players, from England legend Sir Len Hutton and Caribbean opener Gordon Greenidge to the English spin twins, John Emburey and Phil Edmonds. It is possible to name an international eleven of players he has been on the same pitch with. According to Enevoldsen, his greatest scalp was former England captain Mike Brearley.

‘He came over during his benefit year. ‘We were playing at the College Field and I had him caught at forward short leg by one of the Gill boys. ‘He just stood there with that turned-up hat on that he used to wear with a look of, how did I get out to that? He wasn’t very happy.’

Even as a veteran he could still transform the game with his spinners and would continue to play top-flight cricket as he approached his 60s, while also becoming a regular in the Channel Islands Over 50s side. Ted loved the social aspect of sport and making new friends with the visiting teams. He was also happy to spend time encouraging future players with coaching and net practice.

In Inter -Insular matches he first played in 1953, one of his 4 appearances. Overall his figures were 47-16-124-7 but his best was in 1967 when he took 4 for 33 in a drawn match. He captained the island side in 1968.

He was named #43 in Rob Batiste’s 100 best cricketers in 2021 (found in ‘Cricket through the ages’) on this website.

Later in his cricketing career he regularly appeared for the Channel Islands Over 50s, clocking up 43 matches in which he bowled 363-40-1288-58 giving an impressive average of 22.2 and an economy of 3.55 runs per over to currently lie 8th in their averages.

Away from sport he enjoyed the wonders of nature and conversely, enjoyed shooting game birds and rabbits, despite and remarkably surviving being shot in the head by a friend, while shooting in Talbot Valley.

Ted also enjoyed fishing, gardening, walking with his spaniels and holidays. His greatest loves were his wife, Pip (also known as Jackie), and his family, Julie, Sue and David, his five grandchildren, great-granddaughter, and his friends. Ted and Pip met at the badminton halls in the Rohais before getting married on Easter Monday in 1960. They celebrated their diamond wedding anniversary in 2020 and as a couple, were devoted to each other, especially Pip’s care of Ted as his health issues worsened. With his twinkling eyes, unstinting courteousness and interest in everyone, Ted will be dearly missed.