John made his first (undistinguished) playing sortie on Broadhalfpenny Down in June 1971 as a young naval Lieutenant. But after a handful of appearances over the next couple of seasons for the Brigands, his appointments with the Navy sent him everywhere except Portsmouth over the next two decades.
It was not until the 1992 season that he was finally reunited with the club, since when he has never looked back. He played every year thereafter until 2013, mostly as an opening bat and change bowler, with one century, thirteen 50s, and over 150 wickets.
Champagne moments on the field? One has to be the hundred scored on the Down against Winchester College in 2003; and another, an unlikely one-handed full-length catch on the boundary in a close win against Bartestree on the 2005 tour to Herefordshire.
Having joined the committee as fundraiser in 1993, John succeeded Anthony Banes-Walker in organising the annual Devon tour in 1998 and then, from 2000 to Herefordshire. At the 2003 AGM he took over from Anthony as Chairman, a role he continued to fill until passing the baton to Nick Harris in time for the 2012 season.
Having hung up his boots in the year he took his pension, John joined the club’s umpires’ union and now enjoys several afternoons each season standing at one end on this incomparable ground.