Lowerhouse CC are saddened to hear of the death of former amateur (1973) and professional (1974), Tony Benneworth in a boating accident. Tony had been in touch with the club in recent years and had indicated that he was due to visit this summer from his native Tasmania, Australia.
For those that didn’t see or meet Tony, he was very similar to former pro at the club, the great Ryan Harris. This was in his physical approach to the game and his sheer presence, guts and determination.
Tony hailed from Tasmania and came to the club in 1973 to gain cricketing experience. His first season was as an amateur and such were his performances he was offered the professional’s position in 1974. In 1974 Tony was the leading run scorer in the league, ahead of the legendary Collis King. Tony was just behind Collis at second in the league batting averages. The club suffered bad luck in the league, drawing a staggering 18 games, many of which would be wins under today’s rule. Tony did however lead the team to the Worsley cup semi final at Nelson. Tony scored 1215 runs in his 2 seasons with a top score of 99 and best bowling figures of 7-41 amongst his 84 wickets . It would be fair to say that on many occasions, he carried the team.
Tony was a phenomenal fielder, made the most difficult of catches look easy, and had a prodigious throw. I well remember throwing competitions whereby Tony would run down the drive from the groundsmans hut to see if he could get the ball into the old pavilion. Its a herculean ask and Tony didn’t fail by much.
Tony played the game hard and enjoyed the social side of the club too with some legendary parties throughout the league with other Australian professionals such as Neil Hawke. The club witnessed many late night poker games and the Bridge pub in town was visited regularly under mine host, club stalwart, Peter Scaife.
Tony married a Burnley girl before both moved to Australia where Tony had a first class career with Tasmania and became a businessman and politician.
We send our condolences to Tony’s family and say farewell to a former player who would be in the top echelons of great cricketers and great blokes that the club has seen.
The Examiner in Tasmania also wrote a fitting tribute here.