Yorkhull CC

Many pictures of Paul as a young boy will see him clutching a ball, be it a football, cricket or some other. He was destined to have a life connected to balls. A slim and agile youth, his school report at 11 remarked that he 'must realise that sport is not the end all and be all in life'. Whether this was motivated by concern for academic achievement or the realisation that thoughkeen he was not very good at sport we do not know.
 May 11, 1952, Pinder Oaks Hospital, Barnsley was where PAUL GORDON SENIOR was born, just confirming is eligibility for Yorkshire. However when 12 he was exiled to Suffolk where he soon began to assert his skills in this sleepy non-cricketing part of the world. On the day Everton beat Sheffield Wednesday in the FA Cup final he recorded the first of many good bowling performances six wickets for five runs against Braintree under 13s.
Club cricket was soon to begin for Haverhill Seconds at Sawston in 1966. Early taelent as an opening bowler secured a first team place where away swing proved his trademark in the Suffolk Senior League. In a junior club competition his 64 gave him the man of the match award to prove batting was also developing. Always keen, whether on the pitch or on the beach, he would gladly volunteer to act as substitute fielder if required.
 His skills received recognition when he was selected for Suffolk Senior Schools as a batsmen and more importantly,  Suffolk Colts as a bowler. Playing Yorkshire Colts he was involved in a last wicket partnership with the Suffolk skipper when Paul fiercely pulled a ball to leg. Miraculously he was caught out by the fielder - one Arnie Sidebottom, who was unable to back because of the injury to his hand the blow had caused. Paul was to meet Arnie sidebottom in 2010 and recall this incident with him. Arnie had no recollection of it whatsoever!
 A natural intellect took him to York University. He first came to prominence at York as the only person on the away coaches who knew all the words to all the rugby songs. In between those singing sessions he managed to play for the university in most sports it seemed hewas captain of table tennis (though not good enough to beat Paul Drew in Bedminster). Captain also of the Cricket 2nds stumping from Morris winning the last 16 match against Leeds. After a superb 63 against Hall in the UAU competition he moved to that University (along with some Machiavellian plotting!) enabling him to gain control of the First eleven there too.
 In those early years he was an all-rounder whose strength was bowling. It would be no exaggeration to say that is bowling was at times unbelievable. His knack of coming on and snatching victory for us by breaking partnerships with a dreadful long hop or a full toss (with the accompanying triumphant cry of Yee.....sss!) as the hapless batsmen crashed it straight down someone's throat, astonished and indeed appalled us as we faced the prospect of yet another evening listening to how Paul won the match. Sadly a serious back injury curtailed Paul's bowling in recent years although we were treated to a couple of vintage overs at Kendal in 1987 when as usual their top scorer  holed out in the deep to him. Magic! Of course this was to be eclipsed in our final ever game in 2003. When he so nearly bagged a hat trick with his tricky off spin. See here.
 For one so heavily built Paul's fielding has always been surprisingly agile. After injury he took up wicket keeping and becamecompetent enough to play for is club side, Tickhill mainly in that capacity. He donned the gloves with incresing distinction in the latter years of the tour, breaking records of course. However this concentration on wicket-keeping led to batting down the order at Tickhill and hence a slight fading in his batting. Always capable of playing a range of good shots as well as being able to hit the ball hard when necessary some of us will remember the Roses game at 1975 which was won mostly due to his batting.
 Paul's skills as a captain have developed along with the Yorkhull tour. His sometimes surprising batting orders remained a source of some controversy though it must be said that he certainly did not favour himself in this regard. One of the perennial delights of the tours was see Paul engaged in deep conversation with Keith about where to set the field.
 Paul's football skills havenot being allowed to atrophy during the years when he has concentrated mainly on cricket. Great was our pleasure in 1975 to see him at the non strikers end of the tight last over, side-foot the ball away with all the aplomb header at Penrith in 1986
 One final aspect of Paul's cricket must be mentioned: he has shown remarkable tenacity and considerable arithmetic skill in remaining top of the bowling averages year after year despite the challenges from the rest of the bowlers. Truly this is a man who will always be at the top. There is no doubt that Paul has come into his own during those last 19 years as manager, organiser, and captain of the Yorkhull tour. The club was his creation and still to a large extent what happened on and now off the field is due to him. Long may it continue.