Home » Peter Mapstone

Peter Mapstone

Peter David Mapstone

A letter from Edd Thorogood:

Dear Peter,

I find it some what strange how I’m writing this, it was not 2 weeks ago that I bumped into you in the middle of the school grounds, as always a wizened smile and a hand shake and always inquisitive as to what I was up to. We quickly move onto our shared passion, cricket of course and the topic of the club. I expressed my concern at the current scenario, you, as always found the positives. I offered my apologies for ‘jumping ship’ you would have none of it, you understood my reasons as we had been over before but also that there was a host of factors behind the current standing of the club and it was no one’s fault in particular. Never the less, you found the good in the scenario, mentioned the fullness of youth within the team and the efforts of those around them and how that ‘if we could just make 170’ it would give us a shot. Ever the positive eye.

In hindsight I didn’t realise that would be the last time we spoke. If I’d known I’d have insisted on finding a pub, ok, it was 9am but half a bitter would have been ok. However I am pleased that in that brief conversation we did reminisce about the mid to late naughty’s at Foxbury. You always found a way to bring up the Addington games but settled on James Pearse’s 130 v Bromley Common as your favourite knock. I did suggest one of Dylan’s 11 hundreds might have been up there but as you said ‘Dyl didn’t do it on the back of 3 naughts’. You also mentioned a number of good spells but it was indeed in that same game you picked out John Nichols 7 for as the best performance with the ball. Classic you Peter, 100’s of 100’s matches and you picked out 1 game for both performances.

But the great thing about you is you remembered. We may all have had you down as the doddering old chap that got the odd decision wrong, but you were sharper than you let on. You could sit down at the end of a game and you would have every ball logged in your mind, when skipper we did this post every match, if you remember. You would take me through where we won and lost the game, and explain most of you decisions. But what made me laugh most was when I’d sit down at the bar at Foxbury and order you a bitter after a game and on numerous occasions you would turn to me and say ‘I thought you were a bit unlucky today’ aghast I would look at you time and time again and say ‘Peter you were the one that gave me out’......you always said it ‘looked out at the time’.....Annoyingly when you gave me out on 96 I was stone dead in front, so I can’t even blame you for that illusive Kent League ton.

We first met back in 2007 when in a preseason friendly you gave me out first ball on debut. I’m pretty sure we got on ok from that point onwards. Everything we had at Foxbury was down to you. I never will understand the wheel barrow, it went everywhere with you but I’m not sure one item in there was of any use. Boundary lines were drawn somewhat straight, but over lapping, outfields were cut to a standard fit for Rugby not cricket (not your fault) and wickets were rolled so that some leather on willow was possible, all done as a favour, all done for free, for the love of the game but done with love and passion. When I went up to Foxbury mid Week, you would either be wizzing round on you tractor or in the far corner setting fire to compost. Either way you were busy, happy and just doing what Mappy does.

As for cricket, I’ll remember 2 games in particular. Firstly, the Linden Park away game. We had spoken in the week about how miserable their umpire was and how much you were not looking forward to seeing him. It was one of the hottest days I can remember, we had to bat. Any how, the clock ticked past 1pm and you were no where to be seen, little did we know you were depositing you car in the woods and walking the rest of the way. On arrival you ‘lost it’ the only time I ever saw you do this, upon finding out the toss had been lost due to our umpire not being present he called the oppo umpire a **** and then demanded that they reserve a disabled bay for you the following year. Second was my own worst moment, away at Addington, Neil Scott was banging 6’s everywhere and had just plonked me over the ropes for a 3rd time, remember this? As I ran into bowl I lost my mind and my action and from the crease, just threw the ball at Scotty. The game came to a very odd standstill as everyone looked at you for a decision. In you own unflustered way you said ‘er, yes, well, that’s a no ball’.....’Edd you probably shouldn’t do that again’.....I felt you could had been a fraction harsher on me. We chatted about it in the bar at length, and left me quite assured when you said ‘I’m not sure you had much choice’ he was whacking it everywhere.

You always applied the rule of 3 to umpiring. If there had been 2 strong appeals before, then the third should probably be out. Dylan and I figured this out, we played you a fraction, always appeal loudly.....but it was not just for us, as many have said, you were the most unbiased umpire that there has been, if you thought it was out, that was it and as much as I’d have loved to have had several more wickets from your generosity, it’s was always great as a team to know how honest you were and that we were winning on our own merit. What we achieved in those years was down to our own success and not a bent umpire.

I still find this strange, however since the move from Foxbury it never felt the same. We also probably didn’t chat as much after I stepped down as captain, but it’s a credit to you that you always had the time of day to say hi. 2007-2012 was an incredible period of sport in my life and you were part of every single moment, be it the pitch black loss to Offham that sealed promotion or the euphoria of going into Div 3, you were there, ball by ball and run by run. Standing there with your bitter that you had possibly poured yourself and going over every ball.

It goes without saying that we have lost a champion of the game and it’s no wonder the outpouring of wishes that have come from across Kent. On a personal note, I just want to say thank you. Thank you for all you did for me as captain and thank you for all you did for the club, OE’s will never be the same, you were a quirky old sod, but the life blood of the club. We have never needed you more than right now.

Take care, god bless....

Rest in peace