Cricket stalwart honoured with life membership

New MCA life member Barry Roberts with grandson Cooper Roberts at the association’s AGM. Photo: Peter Jones.

Marlborough cricket has a new life member.

At the Annual General Meeting on July 22 Barry Roberts, the province’s most successful senior rep coach, was presented with life membership, an honour accorded to only 18 others in the association’s 125-year history.

Barry was nominated by the Wairau club, in recognition of a cricketing career that spanned over 60 years.

Born in Fiji, Barry moved to this province in 1957 and played his club cricket for Woodbourne, Marlborough Boys’ College, Picton and Wairau.

He made his senior Marlborough debut in 1965 and was a member of Marlborough’s first Hawke Cup-winning team in 1968.

In 1970 he transferred out of the province, before returning in 1982.

During that period he was part of the Taranaki team that won the Hawke Cup in 1970 and played in every defence until Taranaki lost the trophy in the final game of the 1973 season. He also played for Counties, before transferring to Hamilton from where he was selected for Northern Districts, playing two limited over and two first class games.

On returning to Marlborough, Barry was persuaded to take on the rep coach’s role, a position he held, with the exception of one season, until 1998.

After unsuccessful challenges for the Hawke Cup in 1986-87, then 1991-92, Marlborough reclaimed the trophy in the 1993-94 season, with Barry earned the distinction of winning the cup as a player [with two provinces] and as a coach.

Barry stood down from the Marlborough coaching role in 1998 but resumed the role in 2002 before finally retiring in 2005.

He was also coach of the Central Districts U20 team in 1987-88 and 1988-89 and a CD selector from 1998-2001.

Over the last seven years he has once again become involved with coaching, this time at junior level. For the last two seasons Barry has been head coach of the Marlborough primary school representative team. He joins Jon Cunliffe, Brian Fitzpatrick, Don McIntyre, Graeme Hawtin, Stan Lane, Bob Wilson, Gary Bartlett and Greg Stretch as life members of the MCA.

In other news out of the AGM, Denis Aberhart was reappointed to the board, which will again have Greg Stretch as chairman and Vaughan Harris as deputy chair.

The MCA announced a small surplus for the 2018-19 season, around $5000.

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