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Desmond Joseph Ferrow passed away in early December 2020, aged 87 years of age, after a life well lived.

While Des Ferrow was a very well known Western Bay of Plenty community figure and benefactor, what was not so well known in the wider community was his outstanding success on the cricket field.

Born in Australia, Des arrived in Tauranga via Auckland, with a meeting with well known cricket identity Noel Copestake seeing him join the Albion Cricket From club cricket the promising opening bowler progressed to the Tauranga Attrill Cup side and then selection for Bay of Plenty and then Northern Districts.

Des was selected for the inaugural Northern Districts team that made its debut in the Plunket Shield on Christmas Day, 1956 against Auckland, at Seddon Park.

The 11 players that walked out onto Eden Park on that Christmas Day hold a unique position in Northern Districts Cricket, earning the first 11 ND player numbers of the many that have followed in their footsteps.

Captain Jim Everest, Bernie Graham, Len Wyatt, Doug Gray, Peter Smith, Tom Puna, keeper Eric Petrie, Ken Hough, Allen Lissette, David Hoskins, along with Des Ferrow, wrote their names into the fledgling Northern Districts Cricket history forever.

Eric Petrie, Tom Puna, Ken Hough and Allen Lissette would all go on to play test cricket for New Zealand, with Hough a particularly talented sportsman who also represented both Australia and New Zealand at football.

The Des Ferrow name still holds a prominent position in the Bay of Plenty Cricket roll of honour, nearly 60 years since he last wore the Bay of Plenty cricket uniform.

DJ Ferrow (BOPCA player number 154) made his Bay of Plenty Cricket representative debut, in a two-day encounter against Waikato on December 28, 1955, and numbered 10 seasons before retirement called.

His first 10 wickets in a match (6/42 & 4/10) against King Country on December 1 and 2, 1956, is likely to have propelled the Tauranga bowler into the first ND side.

The record Bay of Plenty wickets in a match, of thirteen wickets, belongs to Des Ferrow and Chris Smith who achieved a similar feat in the 1990/91 season.

The rare 10 wickets (and better) in a game figure, has only been achieved fourteen times by ten Bay bowlers since Bay of Plenty Cricket was established in 1932.

Des was the first Bay of Plenty bowler to take ten wickets in a match, before setting the record that still stands, with 7/35 and 6/16 against King Country in 1960.

The 10 wickets in a match honours board reads like a who's who of Bay of Plenty bowlers over the years.

Black Cap and Bay of Plenty cricket legend Graeme Aldridge achieved the feat three times and Chris Smith twice, with PM Irwin, P Curtin, Lance Cairns, Roydon Hayes, Richard Morgan, Jono Boult and Tony Goodin also reaching the magical mark.

Des Ferrow finished his Bay of Plenty representative career with six wickets in an innings on six occasions, which still stands today as the most six wicket bags, in eighty-eight years of Bay of Plenty Cricket history.

RIP Des Ferrow

Sideline Sid
Sports correspondent & historian
www.sunlive.co.nz