By Viktor Berg
Roy Honeybone is a pensioner with a passion who snaps anything between 1,000 to 1,500 photographs on a “normal day’s cricket”.
As an avid follower of Wiltshire cricket, he voluntarily writes detailed reports to share with local media. The reason for the 72-year-old father of two’s commitment is his grandson: South Wilts and Wiltshire CCC’s right-armer Luke Evans.
Last year, Luke received the ECB Southern Premier League Young Cricketer of the Year award after he captured 100 wickets in all competitions. As soon as Southampton-based Roy retired after many years in various teaching positions in Southampton and Germany, he obtained a membership at Hampshire CCC.
He regularly took his grandson to the Ageas Bowl if they were playing, and he soon wanted to join a club. Eventually he came under the watchful eyes of James Hibberd at the New Forest District side who put him forward to the Hampshire U14s before skipper Tom Morton signed him to South Wilts CC.
Roy covers any match Luke plays in, which is why he is currently focused on South Wilts CC and Wiltshire CCC. “Where Luke goes – granddad goes,” Roy said.
“It’s nice to think I am building up quite a cricket archive for my grandson to look back on with his own grandchildren one day. Nowadays, I am just a pensioner with a passion for sport in general, cricket in particular, which I combine with a love of photography, which my wife Bernadette thinks has become an obsession!
“I don’t argue – being appreciated is definitely a big factor in keeping me going, but I love it anyway. I originally bought the camera to take photos of Luke, but before long, his teammates were saying: ‘Did you get one of me, Roy?’ and then the opposition were asking: ‘Did you get any of us?’ So now I just click away!”
Analysing the two teams he covers, Roy said they have the potential to win any match they play.
“Both South Wilts CC and Wiltshire CCC are packed with talented young cricketers. They have both suffered disappointments during the season, but they have a formidable team spirit and are always likely to experience more successes than failures.”
Another passion for Roy has been the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme, in which he achieved bronze, silver and gold levels. He introduced a ‘preliminary’ award for primary school children while teaching in Germany, and brought it back to the UK in 1981.
Since 1985, Roy has run the Southampton Civic Award to Young People. To date, approximately 8,000 pupils have gained the award which celebrates children who take part in school and community activities.
As far as his own sporting career goes, in his teens he forsook cricket in favour of hockey, which he played for 44 years, culminating in a National Over 50s Cup Competition for Southampton’s Trojans HC in 2000.
“I still hold the bowling record for my old primary school, having taken seven wickets for one run in a house match in 1958.”
The people involved is what makes cricket special for Roy. He thought his circle of friends was complete when he reached the age of 60, but thanks to the sport, he has met hundreds of new friends he would otherwise never have known.
As the cricket season is coming to a close, following Sholing FC and Basingstoke Bison ice hockey team will have to suffice. As for Roy, dog sitting is a regular activity.
“My daughter’s dog and I can often be found snoozing during daytime television with me dreaming of the forthcoming cricket season – they are far too short!” he said.
“I enjoy photographing and reporting on local cricket and I am always happy to give one or more of my cricket friends the limelight. As long as I am able, I hope to keep going for a few more years yet.”