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The life of a Burton cricketing legend is celebrated

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: February 11, 2014

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ALAN Phillips was a Burton cricketing legend and still holds the record for the most wickets taken in Breweries Cup history.

He made his debut for Ind Coope in 1948 and during an amateur career that went on throughout the 1950’s and 1960’s he made a name for himself as a fearsome bowler, appearing in several Breweries Cup finals. In 1950, aged just 20-years-old while playing for Ind Coope, he stunned Bass by taking seven wickets for just 20 runs.

Between 1952 and 1954 he undertook national service as part of The Royal Horse Guards and spent time in Germany before returning to continue playing cricket.

He was also part of the Ind Coope side that became the first team to win the cup for three successive years in the early to mid-1960’s.

In 1965 he found himself in the Ind Coope attack in a Breweries Cup final once again against Bass and produced similarly impressive figures, taking six wickets for 34 runs.

His exploits have meant he has gone down in Breweries Cup folklore, taking 147 wickets during his career. His total is even more impressive when compared to nearest rival, former professional Mick Groves, who took less than half the amount of wickets Alan had to his name.

His son Mark said that matches in the Breweries Cup would continue until there was an outright winner, even if it meant progressing into the working week. He told the Mail: “I’ve got reports of one game that started on a Saturday and continued until the Monday.

“They were playing on Monday evening and even then over a thousand people came to watch. That shows how popular the Breweries Cup was.”

Alan’s sporting pedigree also had an influence on his family. Mark says that playing sport ‘became part of life’. Both he and his brother Nick followed in Alan’s footsteps and took up cricket. Nick is currently captain of Barton second’s. They also share their father’s passion for golf.

Alan finished playing cricket in 1969 and decided to focus his interest on golf while working full-time as a chartered quantity surveyor. In the 1970’s he became Principal Quantity Surveryor for Allied Breweries before joining South Derbyshire District Council in the latter part of his career. Having been a member at Burton Golf Club from 1955, he played a pivotal role in the redevelopment of the course in 1976 and became captain the following year. He was also President of the club between 2007 and 2009.

Alan died suddenly but peacefully at Queen’s Hospital on January 31, aged 84.

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