Bert Mayatt Receives Lifetime Achievement Award

Bert Mayatt played for Clive Vale CC from 1959 to 1999.

Not only was he the best player in the Club, probably the best since the club was formed in 1920, he was feared throughout Hastings and Sussex and Kent whenever he appeared. When he wasn’t playing the opposition would ask where he was, no doubt breathing a sigh of relief!

He was a master batsman – who (early in his innings) used to belt the ball at close fielders to “move them back a bit” – who scored a lot of runs at a fast rate. If he raised his eyebrow you ran, if he looked down you stayed where you were. Singles were usually only something that happened on the last ball of the over anyway!

His fast bowling saw many batsmen give their wicket away retreating towards square leg as he tore in - and he could catch anything – whether it was in the slips or in the outfield. I remember the day he volunteered to keep wicket which we all felt was a waste of his talent, but he was probably the best ‘keeper we had seen too......a rare talent.

He was courted by many clubs including Hastings Priory, having played for Kent 2nd X1 when he was young lad working in the Kent coalfields, but he wanted to play with his pals and that he did.

Our after match parties ranked alongside his on-field performances for Mayatt mayhem. Sheila did her bit to entertain the troops, too, getting involved in all sorts of things and regularly being carried home much amusement. We had a party at her house when she went to Nottingham or the weekend and only jus managed to tidy it up before she got back; but when a cupboard was opened a cart load of cans and bottles fell out, so we were rumbled!

Bert scored 21,280 runs at an average of 30 and scored 15 centuries. He is the highest run maker in the club’s history, to this day. At Bexhill Athletic a partnership of 100 was applauded when it was realised that the non-striker, Trevor James, had amassed 9 of them. The ball was despatched to all parts of the ground, into the road and the pavilion roof had a hole smashed in it as Bert made 186 not out, still a club record.

Bert took 1825 wickets at an average of 11 runs and 399 catches. 9 times he got 100 wickets in a season. Peter Watson did it once and since the 1970’s no-one has ever done it. Our wicket keeper’s were known to have to move closer to the wicket to catch the ball on the way up as otherwise it would go over their head for 4. The Beaulieu opening batsman, after receiving some ‘chin music’ from the great man exclaimed very loudly “this wicket has been deliberately prepared for Bert Mayatt’’.

After a serious accident when Bert fell off a ladder he was watching a game at Newenden with his arm in a sling. When one of the players was injured he came on to field and soon found himself on the boundary under a huge sky-er. Up went his one good hand and he took the catch to everyone’s amazement - except those who knew him best. After the accident Bert bowled spinners, to the great relief to the opposition. He still got them out but they could return to the pavilion with their box and its contents un-rattled. And batting? He just carried on where he left off.

As Pett CC know their gain was our loss and he still carries on playing at the age of ??

A great player and competitor, great fun and one of the nicest blokes I have ever known. Simply the best – thanks for the memories - Bert Mayatt.