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Albert Pagan “Who would be a cricket umpire?”

Mr Pagan is from Hartlepool. He worked as a lecturer in the Materials Dept at Teesside Polytechnic. & retired in 1980. Albert played cricket for local teams including Seaton Carew and Marton & has been an umpire for 29 seasons mainly in the Durham and NE Leagues. He started with an ability and enthusiasm for ball games but always wanted to participate, not watch from the boundary since one can’t see the technicalities from there. Albert was the first pupil in his school to pass the 11+ and go to Grammar School & the first pupil from his school to go to University. He studied metallurgy at Birmingham.

Albert was initially recognised at Junior School as a goalkeeper because he was good at catching but he often played games of tennis, football, rugby and table-tennis on the same day. At university he played football for University first X1 & for combined English Universities X1 v Scotland. After college he worked at Billingham Synthonia & changed sport to cricket in 1941. Many players went to the war so he had many playing opportunities.

Although he stopped playing cricket aged 48 he has now had 43 seasons in adult cricket. He realised early on the importance of umpires & so changed from player to coach and umpire. Albert joined the Umpires league; which involved a 10-12 week course & a test, followed by one-year umpiring, & a final test, with an oral exam. As a qualified umpire he could now watch the greatest players from the best seat in the house. He umpired and coached some top players including Paul Jarvis, theYorkshire and England fast bowler.

As a coach the players he has developed include; Stuart Hutton, Michael Gough (now a top umpire), Mark Davies, John Glendenning, Liam Plunkett (an England player). Albert umpired many important matches; for example, the Small Villages Final at Lords, the Durham v Hartlepool trial match to experiment on the 20-20 formula (this included Liam Plunkett and New Zealand players), the White Rose Competition Final in the Bradford League(top league). He also umpired the India v Pakistan match in 1972 at Middlesbrough to raise money for Cancer research .

 Among the incidents he has been called to adjudicate on are ‘Sledging’ and calypso singing at batsmen by Clayton Lambert and Stuart Morgan & ‘ball tampering,Albert also umpired when records were made: for example, when Ijaz Ahmed; made the highest professional individual score of 213 off 29 overs, & when Steve Pennington; made the highest amateur score of 210 not out, aged 18. Albert coached and umpired in the Lord’s Taveners Competition & he has had 2 ‘mentions’ in “Cricket World”.

Albert is now involved with Umpire training & has been placed on the NYSD Roll of Honour.

A vote of thanks was proposed by John Kirkpatrick.