IT is 60 years and not out for a Canon Frome cricket club member and fellow players will be marking his good innings with a special event this weekend.

George Whittaker first stumped the opposition back for Canon Frome in 1950, and since then has turned out every season, except for two years of national service.

Mr Whittaker still plays league cricket for the second XI, keeping wicket and turning out for Sunday and midweek friendlies.

Over the years he played in and sometimes captained the first team, and took part in some memorable games, including in the National Villages competitions in 1978 and 1980, when the club was mentioned in the Times and the Sun. In the 1978 game against local rival Much Marcle, Canon Frome accumulated a record 419 for 6, winning the game convincingly. He also took part in a charity match against the England women’s team back in the 1980s.

Mr Whittaker is also at the heart of the team of committed volunteers that keeps the club going. He is vice-president, and has served as fixture secretary and club chairman. He has also been groundsman for over 15 years.

Andy Rogers, of the club, said officials had been bowled over by George’s commitment.

He added: "George prepares the wickets, works on the outfield, fixes the mowers, the roller and the plumbing to name but a few of the tasks. George is renowned for maintaining equipment decades beyond its life expectancy.

"George is the living embodiment of fair play. He plays to traditional values but still very much to win. He is an inspiration to all those who play with him. We simply could not cope without him."

On Sunday, August 15, the club is hosting a special day for Mr Whittaker, including 20/20 games between George's XI and the Marches League Winners 1999, and the current first XI and an invitation XI.