Artist bowls up a Yorker with portraits of cricket club stars

Kathryn Davenport with her painting of Johny Bairstow

Kathryn Davenport with her painting of Johny Bairstow

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A MEMBER of Yorkshire County Cricket Club has managed a stroke of genius in honour of her heroes – by being commissioned to paint a series of portraits of legendary players past and present.

Grandmother-of-two Kathryn Davenport, 61, of Whitby, who only took up painting five-and-a-half years ago, first approached her beloved cricket club with a portrait she had done of fast bowler Ajmal Shahzad to sell to raise some money for its academy.

However officials were so bowled over with the painting that they wanted to keep it.

Miss Davenport then submitted another portrait of ex-England international Ryan Sidebottom and soon after she was commissioned by the club’s Headingley stadium archivist David Hall to paint 16 portraits of all its previous presidents dating back to 1864 to be hung in its Long Room.

“They are all my heroes and my partner and I go and watch the team play all over the country,” said Miss Davenport, who previously worked for Barclays Bank before retiring.

“I was delighted to be asked and never expected it.

“I decided to take up painting when I was walking around an antiques fair with a friend and thought I wouldn’t mind giving this a go. I had to pinch myself when I realised I could do it.”

Miss Davenport’s partner, Philip Dunn, has a debenture seat at Headingley stadium.

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