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A tribute (prepared in 2007)

D W J Vincent

The autumn brought with it the enforced resignation of David as the Club’s Treasurer, following the stroke he suffered whilst on holiday. It also brought to an end one of the longest working and playing associations, from which the Brentham has benefited both at cricket and football.

David was always a Brentham man, having been brought up in Meadvale Road. He first became involved with the Club, 60 years ago, in 1947 and even the onset of National Service in 1949 failed to interrupt his presence, as he would manage to get back to play on Sundays come what may. He was promoted to the first team in 1951, after National Service had been completed, and joined a very strong side led by Frank Ahl but also with Bob Felton and Horace Brearley, all of whom had played at County level together with Paul and John Swann. His first innings was most memorable. He had reached 99, when he was joined by Bob Felton, who apparently liked to get off the mark. The first ball was pushed to cover, Bob set off, and the debutante was comfortably run out-one short! He had, however, announced his arrival. He played 604 games for the 1st XI and scored over 14,500 runs.

Despite a growing family David became vice-captain to John Swann in 1956 and, as John lived at Kings Langley, the burden of selection meetings fell to his deputy, as well as running the side on Sundays.It was also the custom for the 1st X1 captain to be the chief executive so there was a great deal to shoulder. This was an extremely strong period in Brentham cricket and it continued following David’s appointment as captain in 1962 through to 1966. He had effectively served for 11 years, which is a Club record. One of his disappointments, in what was otherwise a most successful period, was the refusal of his employer to allow him to lead the side into the Final of the then Evening Standard Trophy against the all powerful Beddington. He did, however, towards the end of his career play in the National Cup Final at Lords in 1972 and was instrumental in the victory over Reading in the Regional Final with a polished innings against their outstanding opening attack. He was a positive captain, and, whilst in his early days he could be a flamboyant batsman, later in his career he deliberately became more restrictive and more solid. He did not tolerate lowering of standards and was renown for his impeccable turnout. Towards the end of his career he also captained the 2nd XI.

David, or rather his wife Betty, was well known for bringing his family to the cricket, even though her deckchair was usually facing away from the pitch! It was not altogether surprising that the three sons, Nicholas, Jonathan, and Tim, all played for the Club and Jonathan has continued the family close association by holding a number of offices and is the current Chairman.

The Vincent family has, therefore, had a very significant impact in the history of the Club and, after playing for the first eleven for over 20 years, the contribution was enhanced when David took on the role as Honorary Treasurer in 1999.

Brentham Cricket Club has been immensely richer over 60 years for David’s membership and thanks him for such an outstanding contribution. It was not surprising that he was one of the first to be appointed a Life Vice-President in recognition of his services. We wish him well in his continued recovery.

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