DateLine: 3rd February 2006
Gerald Hill, one of Hampshire’s oldest surviving player, died peacefully in his sleep at his home at Lyndhurst in the New Forest, where he had lived all his life, aged 92. He represented Hampshire from 1932 to 1954, taking 617 wickets and scoring 9085 runs, in his 371 appearances.
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, a New Forest resident who played golf at Bramshaw with Gerald's father, noticed the youngster Hill in a cricket game with his pals and suggested the county might be interested. An invitation for a trial followed and terms were offered and accepted. Gerald Hill's best season was in 1935, when he took 93 wickets, including a career best of 8 for 62 against Kent at Tonbridge.
The Kent captain, Percy Chapman, a friend of the Hill family with New Forest connections, in fact presented Gerald with his county cap. He batted in all 11 positions for Hampshire scoring four centuries, including a highest of 161 against Sussex at Portsmouth.
He claimed the wicket of the Duke of Edinburgh, bowling him in a charity match at Dean Park, Bournemouth in the 1950s.
War service in Italy provided a few games with Combined Services teams.
Gerry was a regular visitor to the Old County Ground and The Rose Bowl, attending the annual players' reunions.