THE West Devon sporting community, and Tavistock in particular, are mourning the loss of one of its truly great characters, Stuart Munday, who died on Saturday.
He was 72 and despite battling against cancer continued to play an active role on and off the field with his beloved Tavistock Cricket Club until very recently. Stuart leaves behind wife Wendy, daughter Zoe and grand-daughter Darcey.
His contribution to the game has been outstanding, both at local and county level - and his legacy will continue through his sterling work with the generations of players who he encouraged to play the game.
Although an all-round sportsman, cricket will be the game he will be associated with most. Among his many roles over the past few years, apart from a driving force at Tavistock CC where he was club president, he was also chairman of the Devon County Cricket League, treasurer of the old David Shepherd Cricket Foundation and until recently the captain of the Devon Over 60s CC second XI, which he led to much success.
Stuart was also very proud of his membership of the Lord’s Taverners, which helped raise tens of thousands of pounds for charity and cricket-related projects.
A Tavistock Grammar School boy, where he first played the game, Stuart began his cricket career with Whitchurch Post Office in 1958, which later become Whitchurch Wayfarers.
He later joined Tavistock CC in 1965 alongside his old school friend Jack Davey. Although living in Bristol for a period of time he was able to play for Tavistock most Saturdays, also playing for the Mendip Acorns who played on Sundays at the county ground in Taunton.
During his 50 years at Tavistock he filled every role from chairman, secretary, treasurer, social secretary, colts’ secretary captain and president.
Over his many years with Tavistock he raised many tens of thousands of pounds to improve the facilities at the club.
Some of the tributes
TAVISTOCK Club treasurer, former chairman and a good friend of Stuart, Andy Jarman said: ‘I have known Stuart almost all of my life and worked most closely with him over the last 12 years or so.
‘Stuart was a unique and powerful individual whose presence always filled any room he was in. Over and above, he had a complete and utter dedication to Tavistock Cricket Club and his rapport with the youngsters was a joy to witness. He will be sorely missed.’
Club chairman David Manning: ‘As you said Stuart certainly was a great bloke, who worked tirelessly to promote the sport he loved through his involvement with many organisations.
‘His lifelong dedication to Tavistock Cricket Club was second to none, having filled many roles both on and off the field, in his final role as president he has been an ambassador and where ever you go within the cricket world as soon as you mention Tavistock the immediate response you get is you must know Stuart Munday.
‘Stuart was always one for a picture and I would often get a call on a Thursday morning asking if I had seen the Times, this would then be followed by a recollection of his bowling performance the previous day for Devon over 60s. Those calls were a unique part of his infectious character that I for one will sorely miss. I’m sure many others will have countless memories and stories of the impact Stuart has had on their lives.
‘He has shown tremendous courage and humility throughout his battle with illness despite countless knockbacks along the way during his treatment; it seemed this was one battle he was destined not to win.
‘Away from the lime light Stuart was a caring family man and our thoughts go out to Wendy, Zoe and the family at this sad time.’
Club captain Shaun Daymond added: ‘Stuart Munday was an incredible man. Before I joined Tavistock Cricket club, I knew who Stuart was, but didn’t know him to talk too and certainly didn’t know what he was about. His passion and drive for Tavistock Cricket Club is second to none, and always will be.
‘He always backed me as captain of the club. Regular phone calls of advice, ideas and sometimes abuse, were always the highlight of my day! But no matter what was said and done, it was all in the best interests of the Tavistock Cricket Club.
‘I speak for myself, and all the lads when I say he will be truly missed around the club, and will always be in our thoughts.’
Ted Sherrell, a former Tavistock Town Councillor and West Devon Borough Councillor, was a team mate with Stuart when they both played football for Westcon in the 1960s.
He said: ‘Stuart Munday was a titan of sport in Tavistock and West Devon. A gifted footballer in his youth, he is best known, for his involvement with Tavistock Cricket Club - one which spanned some 60 years.
‘A fine fast bowler, and no mean batsman, he played well into his 60s. Off the field, he was an inspirational chairman of the club for so many years; indeed his hard work, enterprise, positive leadership and genial personality were crucial to the forward movement of cricket in our area.
‘His passing represents a very sad day for local community life.’