Dr. David English MBE - Hello Dolly!
Basil D'Oliveira is a great hero of mine and his son Dolly Junior is a top man too! They both have enormous presence and a wonderful sense of humour and being with either Dolly Senior or Junior, you are guaranteed some real mischief - heartfelt - but always sporting.
I first met "Bazzer" in the late sixties. I was never sure how old he really was...he's always remained the same. A Colossus of a man, distinguished, dignified, naturally gifted and the heartbeat of the Worcestershire and England teams that he graced with such majesty.
Vic Lewis, the showbiz impresario, first introduced me to "Bazzer". "Dave, you will be playing in my Vic Lewis XI this weekend and you will be opening with Basil D'Oliveira." WHAT AN HONOUR. It was 1966, the year in which England had won the football World Cup and Dolly had just made his England debut against the mighty Garry Sobers' West Indies. He nipped out the brilliant Seymour Nurse in both innings and having been dropped at the wicket off Sobers, put in some big drives before being run out whilst backing up. Jimmy Parks' straight drive rebounded off his foot for Wes Hall to complete the most unfortunate of dismissals, whereupon astonishingly, Sobers and his men applauded him off. Can you imagine a fielding side doing that now, or ever, for a batsman who made 27? They'd have probably given Dolly some verbals and covered him in Jelly Beans.
Dolly's brave stance against racism had been universally documented.
Sport, Politics, South Africa, Apartheid.
In resisting John Vorster, the South African OGRE, and Prime Minister's bribes to pull out of the 1968/69 tour if selected, Nelson Mandela insisted that without Basil, Apartheid, the most single evil regime of the 20 th Century, would not have been conquered as soon as it was.
Every time I visited New Road, I'd find Basil in the bar, holding court and telling his stories exuberantly, charming the ladies and regaling the enraptured audience with tales of daring deeds around the world.
A true gentleman, you could sense his greatness.
By Dr. David English M.B.E. ("The Loon")
Dr. David English M.B.E
David English joined the Lords Ground Staff in 1963. He played cricket for Middlesex C.C.C. and the M.C.C. before forming the Bunbury Cricket Club in 1987.
His Bunbury Cricket Club has raised over £10 million for different charities and his Bunbury English Schools Cricket Festival has discovered 48 England Players and 178 First Class cricketers.
In 1971 he was appointed Press Officer of Decca Records, supervising the recording of the Rolling Stones, Moody Blues, Tom Jones and Englebert Humperdink. In 1973, along with Robert Stigwood, he formed R.S.O. Records, managing The Bee Gees and Eric Clapton and producing "Saturday Night Fever" & "Grease"
As an actor, David appeared and starred in countless films, including "A Bridge Too Far" plus many TV programmes.
David has written 17 books including the award winning "Bunbury Tails" plus 2 autobiographies.
In 2003 he was awarded the M.B.E. for services to charity. In 2004 he was appointed an Honorary Doctor of the University of Middlesex for services to Charity, Humanities and the Performing Arts. He was presented with the E.C.B. Special Merit Lifetime Achievement Award and a Lifetime O.S.C.A ( Outstanding Service to Cricket Award) in 2004, and was made a Freeman of the City of London in the same year.