Martin Stovold – a great servant to cricket in Gloucestershire
FORMER Gloucestershire cricketer Martin Stovold has passed away after a long illness, aged 62.
The younger brother of Gloucestershire batsman Andy, Stovold was a left-hand batsman and an occasional off-spinner. Martin, pictured, played 25 first-class matches for the county, with a top score of 75 not out versus Oxford University at The Parks in April 1980.
In all, he made 518 first-class runs and 325 List A runs for Gloucestershire. He took 18 catches and also represented the county in 50 2nd XI Championship fixtures between 1974 and 1982.
He was very much a Gloucestershire boy, having been born in Olveston in 1955 and attended the local primary school before going on to Thornbury Grammar School, where his prowess as a cricketer and a footballer first attracted the local scouts.
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He followed brother Andy to Loughborough in 1974 and, having qualified as a teacher, his first appointment was at Cotham Grammar School, where he taught PE and geography.
Martin joined the Gloucestershire staff and, in the winter of 1979, he succeeded his brother as cricket coach at Wynberg School in Cape Town. Initially, he flitted between Cape Town and Bristol, playing and coaching cricket in the two summers, but after being released by Gloucestershire, he decided that the warmer climes of Cape Town were more to his liking.
Stovold joined Cheltenham College as their cricket professional in 1986 and took over as master of cricket in 1993.
Under his stewardship, cricket flourished at every level and the college were able to put out more XIs than many other similar schools. He was responsible for the development of many cricketers, including Mike Cawdron and Dominic Hewson, who both went on to play county cricket for Gloucestershire.
The new electronic scoreboard and improvements to the front of the pavilion were initiatives driven by him, and are testament of his commitment to Cheltenham College and the game of cricket. In recent years, he had to contend with a debilitating lung disease, but he carried on manfully with all his college duties until a few days before he died.
Among those to pay tribute to martin was South Africa all-rounder Jacques Kallis, who said yesterday: "So sad to hear the news – Martin was such a special coach."
He leaves a wife, Di, a son, Kyle and two daughters, Kelly and Robyn.