Hampshire Cricket Society
Former Hampshire captain Mark Nicholas has led the tributes to Alison Wilcocks, who has died, aged 75, after a brave year-long battle against cancer.
Mrs Wilcocks was an extremely popular PA to Chief Executive Tony Baker in the club’s Northlands Road days and very much part of the Hampshire cricket fabric of the time.
Nicholas recalled: “Alison, she was just terrific in every way. Such patience with us rogues and always kind.
“Northlands Road gave us the days of our lives in so many ways and Alison was as much a part of the highs and lows as any of us. A bright smile – the most splendid mickey-taker at her best – and the warmest heart. God bless her beautiful soul.”
Mrs Wilcocks worked in the front office at Hampshire’s former ground and was a familiar face to members and supporters alike, always cheerful (in often trying circumstances),but above all hugely professional.
When Tony Baker retired and Hampshire relocated to the Ageas Bowl at West End in 2001, Alison took on a similar role working with Tim Tremlett.
During this time Alison found houses for many international cricketers (including Shane Warne, Matthew Hayden and Heath Streak) and was always looking to ensure that they were comfortable and looked after.
Alison is survived by her husband Bob, a prominent past cricketer with Calmore Sports (where she often made the teas) and centre-forward for Andover in the old Western League, and two daughters Claire and Sally. Bob worked on the Hampshire cricket groundstaff.
Mr Tremlett reflected: “Loyal and extremely popular, Alison was a lovely lady who always found time to listen to everyone else’s problems and will be very sadly missed by everyone associated with Hampshire.
“Whilst never pretending to understand the complexities of the game, the players and staff often had a laugh at Alison’s expense. However, she possessed a good sense of humour and happily continued to join in with the banter and laughter always knowing more than she let on.”
Tim’s team-mates BBC Radio Solent cricketer reporter Kevan James and left-arm spinner Raj Maru added their tributes.
“She was a fantastic lady. Made time for everyone. Great with my two young children when they came up to club,” James recalled.
Raj Maru added: “A great person, Alison was fantastic with everyone and helped me through my career as a player and a coach. She did think that it was funny how I had two jobs, one during the day as a professional cricketer and second as a night watchman.”
Speaking on behalf of the recreational game, Hampshire Cricket Board chairman John Wolfe said: “This is desperately sad news. Alison was a lovely person, always had time for everyone, and always exuded an air of calm in what must have been an incredibly busy office at the old County Ground.”
Alison showed strength of character throughout her whole life. She was stubborn yet kind and nurturing, always being there for those who were in need. She was generous and supportive, putting others before herself to the very end. Her sense of humour and smile were infectious, and she maintained this up until her last words. She will be greatly missed by everyone, but her legacy will live on.
Donations in aid of Alison to Macmillan Cancer Support and/or Cancer Research UK via
Lawrence & Sons (Undertakers) Ltd. 17, St. Denys Road, ortswood,Southampton, SO17 2GN.
(Thanks to Mike Vimpany for this information)