Farewell to Derrick Townshend

BULAWAYO - Standing at a towering 6ft 6in, Derrick Townshend, who died aged 69 in Bulawayo on Saturday, was a giant of cricket in the Matabeleland region in both size and contribution to the game.  

After his playing career, Townshend held several administrative jobs with the then Zimbabwe Cricket Union and now Zimbabwe Cricket.

Born in Johannesburg on April 19, 1944, Townshend spent his entire life in his adopted country Zimbabwe and beloved city Bulawayo.  

He was team manager of the Zimbabwe national team in the ‘80s. He also coached and managed the then Matabeleland provincial team.  He was a match referee for first-class games in the country at the time of his death.

Townshend's love and dedication to the sport was unparallel. He served on the Matabeleland Cricket Association Board and was voted President in 2004, the last President of the association before the system /structure changed.

‘Dobbo’ will be remembered by many at Queens Sports Club for the effort he put into Century Bar. He was at the forefront of renovating it to the world-class facility we all enjoy now.  He then took his skills to Bulawayo Athletic Club, where he turned around the fortunes of the bar there as well.

However, he will probably be remembered most for the remarkable cricket museum he had at his residence. It is truly amasing and only when you visit it do you fully appreciate the love for cricket the man had.  The museum is famous the world over and legends like Shane Warne have signed the visitors book. It includes memorabilia from grand occasions like Muttiah Muliritharan’s 800th Test wicket.

Even when it was clear the end was near during the recent Bangladesh series, Dobbo bravely came to his beloved Century Bar one last time, and still had his autograph book with him.  

Rest in Peace Dobbo, cricket is poorer without you. - Vumi Moyo

*Vumi Moyo is area manager of the Matabeleland franchise.

Comments (1)

Rest in Peace.

Penny Tomlins nee Rademan - 1 September 2013

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