John Lumb

JOHN Lumb, a member of a distinguished Yorkshire cricketing family whose talent was never fulfilled because of his health, has died aged 65.

He played both league and county cricket in the 1960s and, as a talented opening batsman played for Yorkshire County Cricket Club's Second Eleven from 1964 to 1967 gaining the rare achievement for those days of being awarded his Second Team cap.

In 1966 he scored the highest number of runs and topped the averages with 719 runs from 18 innings at an average of 39.94, with a highest score of 147 against Cumberland at Headingley. The next highest run scorer that season was Barrie Leadbeater with 487.

As a junior, Mr Lumb represented Doncaster in the first Joe Lumb Trophy competition – started by his grandfather – in 1962, which they won. At 14 he topped the Yorkshire Council League averages at senior level, but as he was not yet 17 he was only awarded the junior prize.At 16 he scored over 1000 runs in a season for school, club and the Yorkshire Federation with whom he also toured when aged 16 and 17.

He played league cricket for Brodsworth Main, at Doncaster, between 1958 and 1967, and in the following season was club professional at Wakefield Cricket Club, along with the West Indian Test bowler, Sonny Ramadhin.

When he moved to the Birmingham area in 1969 he played for Mitchells & Butlers and for Smethwick CC in the Birmingham and District League and was a leading run-scorer for a number of years.

He also played for Warwickshire Club & Ground, the county's 3rd XI, in 1971 and Northamptonshire 2nd XI, for whom he played one match in 1972 against Surrey at the Oval.

But although he continued playing Second Eleven and league cricket until 1982 his hopes of a full-time professional career were never able to be fulfilled because, at the age of 15, he was diagnosed with Type One diabetes becoming insulin dependent.

At that time, there was little understanding of how such a condition should be managed and he could never achieve the fitness levels required for professional sport.

The president of Brodsworth Main Cricket Club, Mel Griffin, who played there with Mr Lumb, described his batting as "a natural clean cut style, which was elegant, classic and could dominate the bowling".

Last year Mr Lumb was awarded the Nabarro Medal which is given to people who have lived with diabetes for 50 years.

Mr Lumb was born in Doncaster and brought up in Sprotborough where the family lived at the Ivanhoe Hotel.

It has been said that he was as good a cricketer, if not better, than his younger brother, Richard, who was also a talented player and went on to open the batting for Yorkshire forming a successful partnership with Geoffrey Boycott.

Richard Lumb's son Michael, who also played for Yorkshire before moving to Hampshire, was a member of England's Twenty20 World Cup winning squad last year.

John and Richard Lumb's grandfather was Joe Lumb who began the competition in his name to promote junior cricket in Yorkshire, and which has become a prestigious event in which Under 17 teams play for the Joe Lumb Trophy.

John Lumb was educated at Mexborough Grammar School then qualified as a schoolteacher in 1966 from Swinton College of Education.

In 1969 he moved from Yorkshire to Birmingham to become head of physical education at Naseby School. In 1985 he gained a degree in economics from Aston Polytechnic in 1975 and went on to teach at Great Barr School, Birmingham.

Mr Lumb is survived by his wife Gillian whom he met at college and married in Shropshire in 1967, their children Matthew, Rebecca and Hannah, and three grandsons.

His funeral service will be held at Sutton Coldfield Crematorium on Wednesday, January 12, at noon.