“Adrian John Fisher” (#046)
1965 – 2011 (46)
An imposing character, well known and respected for many
years around Oxford, The MAD (in those days, The Jude) first came into
contact with Ade while he was captaining the now defunct Team With No Name,
one of the old Oxford cricket teams which has sadly now gone the way of most
old Oxford cricket teams. Back then the Team With No Name were a decent side,
and Ade would cut an impressive figure as he strode to the crease at first
drop and proceed to flay the inept Jude bowling to all parts.
When the No Namers disbanded,
Ade set up base at the Marsh Harrier pub, and at one point even cobbled
together a Marsh team, though in fairness they were a useless bunch of
less-than-part-time misfits who even the Jude had no trouble caning. Soon Ade
was forced to accept his inevitable fate and join the ranks of The MAD.
Ade was probably the greatest skipper that The MAD
never had. His cricketing knowledge was deep, and he was never shy in
offering it. Not one to suffer fools gladly, his forthrightness was a
hallmark of his direct and engaging personality. Given time, he may well have
turned The MAD into a crack unit of actual sportsmen. Instead they remain to
this day the bunch of fools he was content to suffer.
As Ade said many times, bowlers win matches, and it was
with his bowling that he made the greatest impact. His swashbuckling batting
style became less effective as The MAD faced stronger opposition and he lost
the desire to run, but his beguiling slow bowling often bamboozled even the
surest of batsmen. His best figures of 5-15 are testament to that. Some there
were who said that he bowled pies, but perhaps there was an element of
jealousy in that friendly taunt. His lobbed tarts and flans were deadly
against the tail, or indeed any batsman playing for The Marlborough Arms. If
they were pies, then they were the tastiest in Oxford.
Ade was an indispensable member of The Jude and The MAD,
a friendly landlord in times of need, and a fine man. He is sadly missed.
Adrian John Fisher (1965 – 2011). Too well loved to ever be forgotten.
“Noel Patrick Reilly” (#021)
1946 – 2008 (62)
Noel was landlord at Jude the Obscure in Walton Street,
Jericho until 2001 and co-founder of the original team. A constant source of
spiritual inspiration for both Jude and MAD, Noel’s generosity towards the
team in both its incarnations was unwavering. He played 3 times for the Jude,
scoring 3 runs at an average of 1.00. His most impressive display came
perhaps against The Beehive in Swindon in 2000, when his exertions in scoring
a single proved so telling that he when he finally left the field of play it
was on a stretcher.
Noel sadly passed away in the latter half of 2008. His
son James said his father was “the perfect landlord”. He added that, “he has
been described as a chain-smoking intellectual Irishman, a bunch of
contradictions and the archetypal landlord.” Throughout his career Mr Reilly
could be unpredictable, banning people for the ‘wrong hair’ or for the ‘sin’
of drinking in another pub — but he always let them back after a few days.
Close friend John Somer described him as “generous
to a fault, cantankerous and wonderful.”
Noel Patrick Reilly (1946 – 2008) – posthumous Honorary
Patron to The MAD. He will be fondly remembered.
“Philip John Holt” (#031)
1970 – 2022 (51)
Phil Holt (player #31) was an old school friend (and
fellow real ale fan) of mine who bravely volunteered to make his Jude
debut in 1999 when visiting Oxford on a beer trip, and when, predictably, the
Jude was short of players. Phil took a debut wicket versus the Old Tom
at Cutteslowe Park, and seemed to enjoy the Jude
cricket experience so much that he joined us on Tour in Weymouth the following
summer. On Tour he played two further games at Little Bredy and Martinstown,
scoring three runs (HS 2) and taking a further wicket (BB 1-8), and during
which he famously acquired the nickname "4.1" due to a badly
written chalkboard in the pub pool competition (which he won) - see Ant's
match report #030 for
the Tour in 2000.
It would come as no surprise to me that Phil was keen
to try his hand at cricket, nor that he won the pool competition, as he was
more than proficient at a number of sports - pool, snooker, hockey and skiing amongst them. His greatest skill,
however, was at chess, which he had played from a very young age, and very
recently he had been invited to represent England at over-50s level. Sadly,
Phil had had a history of health problems, having a kidney transplant ten
years ago, and more recently being diagnosed with skin cancer. Phil had to
turn down the opportunity to represent his country due to his failing health, and lost his battle with the disease only a few
Phil's career for the Jude was a brief one but a
successful one – he has the unique distinction of playing three games for the
Jude and being involved in three victories; no other player has a 100% win record having played more than once.
Only two other members of our current squad played in
the same team as Phil, and I doubt they will remember much of those matches
that far back in time. I, however, had known Phil for just over forty years,
and like others who had had the pleasure of his company, will miss his wit,
his warmth, his friendship. The world has lost a good man, and I have lost a
good drinking companion.