Statistician of the Year 1991 – Les Hatton

The Statistician of the Year award for 1991 was presented to Les Hatton in recognition of all the work he had performed for the ACS over the years, in particular his editorship of the Second Eleven Annual and his work on Sunday League Records. He was also closely involved in the statistical work on the Worcestershire Yearbook.

Mr Hatton thanked the Association for the honour it had done him.

The following Appreciation of Les Hatton was written after his death in 2003 by the Rev. Malcolm Lorimer

Over 150 people gathered together at a thanksgiving service for Les Hatton, appropriately at a small chapel in the shadow of Molineux Football Ground, home of Les’s beloved Wolves.

The ACS owes a great debt to Les, who served continuously on the committee from 1978. He wrote the Worcestershire grounds booklet, the second to appear in the series, which was initially under his guidance. He saw it as an opportunity that could be linked with visits to adjoining pubs in his capacity as a member of CAMRA!

From the start of the Sunday League, Les established himself as the competition’s leading statistician. In 1987 he produced a record book to mark the end of John Player’s sponsorship, which was revised in 1993 when the 40-over format ended. From 1988 he has been in charge of the Second Eleven Annual, which has proved an invaluable resource. It is fitting that we are going to name an award after Les for the best Second Eleven Player of the season.

Les worked as a draughtsman with many firms, and also as a professional musician. Originally he played clarinet, flute and saxophone with the Royal Artillery Band, before joining sundry dance bands in the Midlands. One of the last gigs he did was for the Cancer Research Players.

He was the Worcestershire club historian and statistician and had several books to his credit. Les and his wife Dorothy were keen followers of Worcestershire, visiting most of the county grounds with friends. He loved the New Road Ground where he began watching cricket in 1946. He recalled that Don Kenyon was his first cricket hero, saying, “I will never forget those happy memories of him rattling the fences at New Road.”

When you next visit Worcester, seek out the tree dedicated to Don Kenyon and pause remembering Les Hatton, whose ashes are there close to his hero!

It was a great privilege to conduct the thanksgiving service for Les. One of his friends summed him up: “Real Cricket, Real Ale, Real Football, A Real Gentleman.”