Tony Kingston, a dedicated Northamptonshire batsman, has died aged 83 after spending 32 years on the scoresheet and discover the life and legacy of Tony Kingston, reflecting his lasting impact on cricket as a batsman.
Who was Tony Kingston?
Tony Kingston BEM, a beloved member of the Northamptonshire County Cricket Club community and one of their most loyal supporters, sadly passed away on 12th July aged 83. Since joining the club in 1990, ‘Kingo’ served as the first XI goalscorer, a position he held until his retirement was announced at the end of the 2022 season. Only Leo Bullimer, whom Tony adored and wrote a glowing tribute to in the NCCC yearbook, surpassed his mandate from 1900 to 1950.
Northamptonshire Cricket Club recently shared the heartbreaking news of the death of their dedicated batsman, Tony Kingston, aged 83. Tony took over the role of goalscorer in 1990 and retired gracefully before the start of the current season, bringing his incredible 32-year run in the points box to an end. During this remarkable period, Tony proudly claimed to have missed just 66 overs of the game, until a diagnosis of prostate cancer forced him to sit out the entire 2019 season.
Described by Northamptonshire as one of their greatest friends and staunchest supporters, Tony’s unwavering commitment was appreciated by all. As a fitting tribute to his immense contributions, Tony was recently awarded the prestigious British Empire Medal as part of the King’s Birthday Honors List.
Tony’s association with Northamptonshire spanned an impressive 75 years, beginning with his attendance at his first cricket match at the County Ground in 1948, filled with anticipation to witness the iconic Don Bradman in action for the touring Australian side. Unfortunately, Bradman was rested for that match, but it marked the beginning of Tony’s lasting association with the sport.
Tony was initially a goalscorer for Northamptonshire’s second XI in 1988 before breaking into the first team just two years later, cementing his key role at the club. Although his unwavering commitment to meticulously recording every ball at every Northamptonshire game remained unrivaled, Tony’s proud record faced a minor interruption when he suffered a fall outside his hotel in Cardiff, while returning from a Take That concert and attending a family funeral.
When asked about the most exciting player to watch from Northamptonshire, Tony nominated former England batsman Allan Lamb. Reflecting on the club’s achievements, he said he felt like he had a season ticket at Lord’s as Northamptonshire reached four finals in six years, culminating in their triumphant 1992 Natwest Trophy win.
Obituary of Tony Kingston
Tony Kingston BEM, fondly remembered as a dear ally and ardent supporter of Northamptonshire County Cricket Club, died on 12th July aged 83. His unwavering commitment made him an integral part of the club community. From the moment he joined in 1990, ‘Kingo’ has served wholeheartedly as the top scorer.
Only at the end of the 2022 season did he express his intention to retire from that role. Incredibly, his tenure surpassed that of Leo Bullimer, who held the position from 1900 to 1950 and even wrote a glowing tribute to Leo in the NCCC yearbook during the 1990s.
However, Tony’s association with The County Ground spanned an impressive three quarters of a century. At the age of seven, he set foot in the stadium for the first time in January 1947, eagerly watching the Cobblers’ FA Cup game against Preston Northern End. Just 18 months later, he was charmed by the legendary ‘Invincibles’ of Australia who faced Northamptonshire on the opposite side of the pitch.
During his last encounter with English cricket, Tony yearned to witness the batting prowess of the legendary Don Bradman, but fate intervened, delaying Lindsay Hassett’s captaincy. Despite this, Tony attended as many county cricket matches as possible, balancing his passion with other commitments, including being a choir member at the neighboring St. Matthew.
Unfortunately, due to a prior commitment to perform at a wedding, Tony was absent when Frank Tyson made history against the Aussies in 1953. Despite this, he took every available opportunity to witness county cricket while diligently fulfilling his other duties.
As well as being active in local cricket and football as a keen player, Tony devoted part of his national service in the army to preparations for Sir Winston Churchill’s state funeral, an operation known as “Operation Hope Not”. Over the years the line “Carry on, Corporal!” became a common way to conclude countless conversations, honoring his participation in that historic event.
What happened to Tony Kingston?
Northamptonshire Cricket Club have shared the sad news of the death of their dedicated and long-serving batsman, Tony Kingston, aged 83. Tony began his shooting journey in 1990 and recently retired before the current season, culminating in an impressive 32 years in the range. During his remarkable service, Tony prided himself on having missed just 66 overs until a diagnosis of prostate cancer forced him to sit out the 2019 season.
Recognized as one of the club’s most valued friends and staunch supporters, Northamptonshire Cricket Club expressed its deep appreciation for Tony’s immense contribution. Last month, Tony was fittingly awarded the prestigious British Empire Medal in recognition of his exceptional service, coinciding with the King’s Birthday Honors List.
Tony’s association with Northamptonshire spanned an incredible 75 years, beginning with his inaugural visit to the County Ground in 1948 at the age of seven, eagerly awaiting the chance to witness the legendary Don Bradman in action. Unfortunately, fate intervened, as Bradman was rested for that match. In 1988, Tony took up the role of goalscorer for Northants’ second XI, before making the move to the first team two years later.
Despite some occasional setbacks due to health problems, Tony prided himself on meticulously recording every ball of every Northants game, with only minor interruptions caused by an accidental fall outside his Cardiff hotel after attending a Take That concert and a family funeral.
Tony fondly recalled former England batsman Allan Lamb as the most exciting player he had the pleasure of watching during his time with Northamptonshire. As the club reached four finals in six years, Tony likened the experience to a season ticket at Lord’s, culminating in their famous Natwest Trophy triumph in 1992.
In addition to his invaluable contribution to Northamptonshire Cricket, Tony has dedicated significant time to The County Ground, amassing an impressive three quarter of a century of involvement. As a young child, he attended his first game in January 1947, witnessing the Cobblers’ FA Cup tie against Preston Northern End. Furthermore, he was delighted to see the formidable Australian ‘Invincibles’ team in action against Northamptonshire just 18 months later.
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