Tributes paid to Caister cricket legend and ‘outstanding local character’

WELL ANSWERED! Ken Jary receives voucher awards from the Mayor of Yarmouth, John Winter, to acknowle

WELL ANSWERED! Ken Jary receives voucher awards from the Mayor of Yarmouth, John Winter, to acknowledge the local team's success in becoming national Champions of Champions in the 1963 Sporting Chance quiz on BBC Radio. Waiting their turn are his team colleagues, Andy Watt (left) and Derek "Dutchy" Holland (right). In the centre is entertainments and publicity dirfector John Kinnersley. The presentation was made at the annual variety artists reception at the Town Hall. Picture: MERCURY LIBRARY - Credit: Archant

Caister cricket club legend and 'outstanding local character' Ken Jary has died aged 86.

The club founder, player, secretary, and chairman was also one of the leading cricket umpires in the county.

He was remembered this week by his friend Keith Skipper who described him as 'a proper Norfolk boy.'

He said: 'Ken was an outstanding local character and a real authority on the sporting scene. He was a cheerful colleague on the field and off and helped keep the club going for many years. He always thought the best of everyone.'

His encyclopaedic knowledge was tested and found victorious in the early 1960s when as part of a three-man team he brought national honour to the town in Sporting Chance on BBC Radio's Light Programme.


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Yarmouth was one of 14 holiday resorts invited by the BBC to take part, and selected the three-man team of Ken Jary, Derek ('Dutchy') Holland and Reg Snowling to carry the borough's banner.

The town hosted the first round in the Town Hall's assembly room where Southend were the visitors.

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The team were away to Scarborough in their next match, returning home to entertain Torquay.

For the final they travelled to Broadcasting House where they beat Weston-Super-Mare to become Sporting Chance champions.

Two years later they were summoned back in front of the microphones – and question-master, Brian 'Jonners' Johnston – in a Champions of Champions programme against the winners of the two other series which they won as well, school teacher and former Gorleston footballer Andy Watt replacing Reg Snowling.

Ken, who worked for Yarmouth Port and Haven Commissioners, spoke highly of quizmaster 'Jonners' describing him as 'a marvellous man, and an absolute gentleman in every way.' County councillor Pat Hacon was at the live recording at the town hall and has fond memories of Ken whom he described as 'a man of achievement in a quiet way.'

'He was a nice man in the village you could always have a chat to. It is just so sad when we lose people like that.'

Mick Jones, Caister cricket club chairman, hailed Ken's amazing recall of facts and figures and said of the dozen or so people he had spoken to since his death all had had a new, often comical, story to tell.

He said Ken had given up cricket in the mid 1980s when he was made an honorary Caister club member, but not before he umpired the Carter Cup Final in 1984.

Describing him as 'a terrific chap in every way' he said many people were saddened by news of his death.

Initially the Caister club was called the Yarmouth Exiles because they had nowhere in the village to play until 1959.

Mr Jary's wife Gwen died around six years ago. The couple had one daughter Bernice.

The funeral service is at Caister Parish Church on Friday August 5 at 12 noon.

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