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Des Garner

Des Garner was a right handed batsman who mainly opened the innings and an occasional wicket keeper in his younger days.

Des has been a player and official at Kibworth for over 50 years. His earliest memory of the club was when a KCC visited his home village of Arnesby to play
an evening game on an outfield 'where the cows roamed and ate and left pancakes wherever they wished'. After moving to Fleckney he studied at Hanbury school, Church
Langton where Eddie Welton was one of his teachers and moved on to Kibworth Grammer school where he met and played with David Gowdridge.

Des played a few games for Fleckney CC in 1951 before making his debut for KCC in a Whitsun Bank Holiday Tuesday game against Old Nottinghamians the following season. It
was a game in which the 14 year old Garner scored the first 17 of  over 18000 runs that he would accumulate for the club. A few weeks later Des compiled 94 not out for the school
in an evening game against KCC 2nd XI being denied the chance to complete his ton when Stan Bolton bowled the final ball of the innings way down the leg side, without it being
called a wide. His first fifty for KCC came against Leicester Nomads later that summer and his total of 143 runs at an average of 35.8 earned him the clubs Young Cricketer
of the season award.

Des captained the Grammer school in the 1953 season and scored 90 and 72* for KCC but National service would severely limit his cricket in the following two seasons. After de-mob
he pursued a career in education and returned to play for KCC. Des remembers the pitches at the club at that time as being 'very good and well above the average. A heavy roller pulled
by hand was used and the outfield was the equal of that of today.' He does however note that the standard deteriorated somewhat during the 1960's.

Des became 1st team captain in 1961 replacing David Symes who moved South due to work commitments. It was a time of change for the club with big holes being left in the 1st team
by the retirement of Cyril Iliffe and Bill East. Other long time servants like Albert Arlott (an aggressive batsman and fine cover point fielder) were also coming to the close of their careers
and as well as David Symes departure two other good players Ken Hammond and Joe Creen also left after only two seasons at the club. Des captained the side for three seasons before
stepping down because he fealt that the position was affecting his batting form.. Despite moving to Crick in Northamptonshire, he continued to play at KCC and had some of his best years
in the early 1970's including scoring over 1000 runs in 1971 with two centuries. He captained the first team in 1972 and 1973 before handing over to Geoff Lee.

Des served as fixture secretary for many years from the early 70's and continued to play first team cricket until the mid 1980's and saw his son Adam play many times for the club before his
move to firstly to Market Harborough and then GEC Rugby. Des became president of KCC in 1990 and two years later celebrated 40 years as a playing member of the club with a special
match in his honour. The last of his more than 800 games for the club was a Sunday 2nd XI fixture against Wigston in 1998.

As well as playing for Leicestershire Young Amateurs at cricket, Des represented the county in the 100 yards at the All England schools athletics championships and played
for the Leicestershire Youth soccer XI. He had trials for Leicester City FC.

Career Stats (estimated)

                                    Inns        NO        Runs        100's            50's            Avge   
1st XI                            369        43            8257        3                   52                25.3
2nd XI                            60           7            1607                             10                30.3
Sunday 1st XI                230        42            5975                             34                31.8
Sunday 2nd XI                39         11            1185                             10                43.3
Evening & Cup                32          5              767                                5                28.4

Total                              744        110         18290        3                 115                28.8