Captain s'Log

4th July 2012: Haydn Rowlands - All Time Great

Haydn Rowlands – DCC All Time Great

I am not ashamed to say I have heroes. Past, present and maybe in the future. Not many - and all for the right reasons.

When I started playing for Dorchester I was 13 years old and for the following 4 years I learned to play in adult cricket alongside a man who became a hero of mine.

Haydn Rowlands.

Haydn was our Botham. A colossal figure, great personality, a truly brilliant cricketer and a great bloke.

In my teenage years I would watch agog at some of the things he did on the cricket pitch as a great athlete and very gifted individual.

So it was an unbelievable privilege and honour that I was able to recognise Haydn as a Dorchester Cricket Club ALL TIME GREAT at the very last DCC Do.

Haydn  emailed me the morning after the Do – as follows –

  Hello Paul.  When i was travelling home from the do i had such wonderful thoughts of my time playing cricket for both Basford, Dorchester, and the years i played premier league cricket in the Derbyshire and Nottingham divisions.  I must say what a wonderful night i had and the presentation you put together and the nice things that were said about everybody particularly the chaps from the 70s and early 80s when you where so young made me feel good. I am on the weights this morning in my gym and i look at all my trophies well over 100 and fondly look at my cricket ones the cut glass will have pride of place amongst them.


The work that you had put into the club along with the other legends was a fantastic achievement for you all for Terry to receive a standing ovation brought a lump to my throat thank you so much for the nice things you said about me and i was sorry T Elsey did not go as i feel he would have felt the same about the things you said about him.


The Dorchester figures and results are now just a memory that all the people involved have to remember all the good times that we had but i will remember them forever thanks again and the best of wishes to you and your family and i will never forget the 100 of Andy Pick with you at the other end my you were a young chap and as i sit and type this e mail i still remember my first ball fizzing past my ears and me thinking bloody hell i never saw it but like the Dorchester spirit it was dig in and get the job done.   


                        Haydn Rowlands  ( A Dorchester Great)


The thing that struck me about this email wasn’t the memories, the performances or Haydn’s own contributions.

It was the fact that he signed himself off as a Dorchester Great

It meant something to him.

This was a chap who went on to get 5 WORLD masters titles, 4 European and 19 British power lifting titles AND was still the current holder of FOUR WORLD BENCH PRESS titles in age group!! This was a man who travelled around the world right at the top of his chosen sport and experienced many things....but he was proud to be a DCC Great!

Haydn invited me up to his house after the DO and Bradley and I went to his place in the hills in Derbyshire. It was great.

Haydn happily showed us trophies and certificates from all his WORLD TITLES – absolutely amazing. But pride of place was the cut glass from the ‘DO’ – incredible.

Haydn showed Bradley how to do weights properly, giving him a bit of a work – helpful when you have a self contained gym in your back garden!

And I was lucky enough to have my photo taken with Haydn. Just before Bradley took the shot I told him he was a hero of mine and this meant a lot to me. Haydn just laughed and said something like ‘go away with you!’

Haydn passed away in his gym on 3rd July 2012 - he was just 56 years of age.

This photo is my screensaver on my Blackberry and it has been for the last few months - since I last saw Haydn.

He was a great bloke, a brilliant sportsman, a passionate family man, a Dorchester all time great – but for me he was a hero as well.


Haydn played for Dorchester from the early seventies, he was introduced by Colin Franks's as he was his new apprentice at work) and they soon developed a powerful opening combination. He bowled brisk medium pace (he would have laughed and said 'quicker than that') and was a ferocious batsman. Famously in July 1982 he scored 100n.o. vs Thrumpton - my best mate Andy Pick was on Notts ccc's books and was roaring in down the hill and trust me he was rapid. I opened with Haydn that day and we put on 98 for the first wicket - I got an edgy 19. But It was a stunning performance from Haydn - absolutely explosive.

Haydn signed off his last season with a hundred on melbourne park vs Oxley (116) and in the May of that same 1983 season he opened with Colin Franks for the last time.








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