Maurice Houghton

Right-hand Bat

Slow Left-Arm

Debut: 21.05.1978

House: Reckitt

At LP: 1954-1959 

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Batting head-gear

None

Umpiring head-gear

Wide Brimmed Hat

 

What are your three favourite films?

1 - Monsieur's Hulot's Holiday
2 - Dambusters
3 - Carry On Camping

 

What is your desert island book?

Blue Horizon - Wilbur Smith 

What is your desert island luxury item?

Blue Ranger Helicopter

 

Please provide your eight desert island discs:

1 - Handel's Water Music
2 - Greig's Piano Concerto in A Minor
3 - Pomp and Circumstance March No.1 - Elgar
4 - Sailing
5 - I do like to be beside the seaside
6 - Midnight in Moscow
7 - Holiday Rock
8 - We gotta get out of this place

 

Beer or Wine: Wine
Tea or Coffee: Coffe
Wet Shave or Dry Shave: Dry
Pietersen or Boycott: Pietersen

Warne or Murali: Warne

WG Grace or Bradman: WG

Room 101?

1 - Sunday night T.V. 
2 - Pompous people
3 - Inconsiderate drivers

Maurice "Trigger" Houghton like Dickie Bird became more famous as an umpire than as a player. This was because of his early retirement due to considerable trouble with his knees followed by two operations. Maurice was indeed a star player in his schoolboy days having captained the side at Crosfields and then stepped straight into the 1st XI at LPS in Summer 1955 and stayed there for all 5 years until 1959.

It was as a class spin bowler ( left arm round the wicket ) that Maurice was remembered for when years later in 1978 the OLCC played their first game in the Brewers Cup. With Houghton at one end and Brewer at the other, they tied up Douai Society and bowled them out for 80. Maurice played in just the Brewers Cup that year (2 appearances) and returned to the fold some years later as an umpire. He did play two more games standing at slip with knee restrictions on the West Country Tour of 1994.

So having played just the 4 games for the club, Maureeccee Van Houghton was elevated to umpire with a Dutch adjustment to add some additional class to his name in his more formative years. The highlight of his duties in the white coat was surely on 9th June 1996 at the special carnival game to celebrate the President's 50th Birthday when nobody was supposed to be given out LBW. Maureeccee had other ideas and the first wicket of the long day went just that way, as he gave Richard Knox-Johnston out early in his innings - not only was it not in the spirit of the occasion, but the batsman (brother of the famous yachtsman) sulked until lunch, reading his newspaper and talking to nobody.

Maureeccee was seen to still be 'triggering' the occasional batsman and telling many a joke to the members as he mingled in the dressing room, until his passing in 2016.

 

GWVC 

Maurice was an embodiment of everything good about the OLCC. The most welcoming man for younger players coming through from the school, he would make his way over and learn a little about each debutant and dust off any new-club-nervousness with a joke or twelve. 

I don't think I ever saw Maurice without a smile on his face and even in his latter visits to the school to observe (or umpire a quick over), he was wonderfully cheery in the face of worsening health. He spoke some words at the 2015 dinner, expressing his thanks for the work of younger members to maintain and develop the future of the club - which captures Maurice's humility and grace in a nutshell; as it is characters such as him that make maintaining the OLCC an absolute pleasure.

I have only have two regrets; firstly, that I didn't get to witness his Left Arm windmilling through the Douai Society and secondly, that I will have to work harder to get an LBW without him umpiring. A beautifully happy man, who I will miss.

NDH

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ADDRESS

Leighton Park School

Shinfield Road
Reading
RG2 7ED

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