Donald Smith (OS 1952)
Donald Smith was arguably the finest cricketer produced by Stockport Grammar School. From his days in the junior school, especially for someone with such a slight frame, he was frighteningly fast for schoolboy cricketers up until when he left at the age of 18 in 1952.
While he was still at school he was selected for Lancashire 2nd XI and also for England schools U19s at Lord’s. He was also making a name for himself in the very competitive Central Lancashire League for Stockport as an all-rounder.
However, national service called and he joined the RAF. He was soon selected for the RAF XI when he opened the bowling with none other than the great Fred Trueman with several other future England cricketers in the side. He was also selected in this period for the minor Ccounties’ side against the touring South Africans.
After national service he went up to St John’s College, Cambridge, where he studied law. In his first two years he was awarded his blue playing against Oxford at Lord’s where he opened the bowling. Members of the team included such as the great Ted Dexter and that fine player Bob Barber. He was a leading Cheshire bowler after this and became team manager and committee man. In addition he was an excellent footballer and gained a half-blue and was a leading player for the Old Stopfordians.
By profession he was a school teacher and retired as a deputy head at a large comprehensive school in Staffordshire.
Off the field he was usually very easy going but on the cricket field he could be surprisingly hostile – especially to batsmen who edged the ball to the boundary!
He was a loving husband to Brenda, father to Andrew and Carolyn and was devoted to his grandchildren.
I knew him from when he was 11 years old and found him an excellent friend.