DateLine: 12th February 2020
Slightly built and fair haired, John Hewitt was a good upper order batsman who was considered by many to have been unlucky not to have gained at least one cricket cap for Ireland to add to to the four he won for Rugby.
He was a consistent scorer in club cricket for both Instonians and the North of Ireland CC for many years. He won interprovincial honours for Ulster and also played in one North v South Trial match in 1949. Unfortunately he failed to capitalise on a good start in this match, falling to the off spin of John Hill after reaching 13. A declaration prevented him batting in the second innings.
He was much better known as a Rugby player, hailing from a family which, over two generations, provided five Irish internationals and the mother of another. A highly regarded fly half and drop goal expert, who played a key role in the successful Instonians sides of the 1950s, Hewitt was unlucky to be a contemporary of the great Jackie Kyle, two of his four Irish caps being gained on the wing.
Late in his career he reinvented himself as a try scoring full back, captaining Ulster from this position. He was again seriously considered for International honours, but his way was once more blocked by another legend of the game, fellow cricketer Tom Kiernan.
In retirement, He played a leading role in administration and served terms as President both of Instonians RFC and the Ulster Branch of the IRFU.