By CONRAD SUTCLIFFE
A FAMILIR figure on the South Devon cricket circuit, either in the scorebox or wearing an umpire’s coat, has died aged 86.
Ray Adamson, who died in Torbay Hospital, had a near 30-year association with Ashburton, Abbotskerswell and latterly Bovey Tracey CCs.
He was a club umpire at Ashburton, a member of the Devon League’s panel of officials up to 2012 and also had a stint in the scorebox at Abbotskerswell.
In latter years he could be found most Saturday afternoons on the ground at Bovey Tracey.
Adamson, a Yorkshireman, had seen service in the Army before moving to Devon, where he joined the Devon Ambulance Service, which then operated out of Ashburton, where he bought a house.
Paul Short, a colleague in the DAS, said Adamson soon revealed his enthusiasm for cricket.
“We played a few evening cricket matches and Ray was always keen to umpire,” said Short.
“He qualified as a paramedic and stayed with the service until he retired.”
Adamson’s love of cricket took him to Ashburton CC, where he was welcomed with open arms as a club umpire.
Jeremy Christophers, who was 1st XI captain at the time, remembered Adamson with affection.
“When a cricket-loving Yorkshireman walked into our club and said he wanted to umpire I thought we had found our own Dickie Bird,” said Christophers.
“Ray was a lovely man and we were pleased to have him as one of our umpires for five or six seasons before he moved to Bovey Tracey.
“He wanted to umpire at a higher level and when he went to Bovey he joined the league panel.
“We did not see much of Ray after that, although later he kept in touch with Ashburton by dropping into the ground on his way home from matches.”
Geoff Coish, a fellow scorer and former secretary of Bovey Tracey CC, said he remembered coming into contact with Adamson professionally.
“I first met him around 30 years ago when he rang to tell me that my daughter had been in an accident in her car,” said Coish. “He pulled her out with just cuts and bruises.”
Ray Adamson was married to Pauline, who survives him together with daughter Louise and grandchildren Ben and Natash.
A cricket-lover to the end, Adamson will be wearing his ECB umpire’s tie at his funeral on Monday (March 15), which will conclude with the tune Soul Limbo, which fans of the game will recognise as the theme to Test Match Special.