Don Crossley – CMS Founder

Don Crossley

Sadly CMS Vice President and founder, Don Crossley has died at the age of 83. Our thoughts are with his family and many friends. Don was usually seen at CMS meetings wearing his Hursley Park cricket sweater and bidding enthusiastically on auction items. He had an extensive collection of autographs and cricket memorabilia in general.
In 1985 Don had the idea that too many cricketana collectors acted alone and would like to have a means of contacting fellow collectors. He produced a CMS tie at his own expense and advertised the tie in ‘The Cricketer’ magazine. The response was so encouraging that from the people who contacted him were drawn the founder members who met at Dartmouth Cricket Club, West Bromwich on 25th April 1987. They agreed to form the Cricket Memorabilia Society.
Don gathered together the first enthusiasts, helped to mould the Committee and became its inaugural Chairman. Soon afterwards John Arlott agreed to become our first president and Don Bradman accepted Honorary Membership. Don Crossley resigned as Chairman due to pressures of work in 1990, and was appointed Honorary Life Vice President. He continued to attend meetings, collect enthusiastically and submit features to our magazine. Don was also a member of Hampshire and Dorset Cricket Societies having earlier been a left handed batsman and much else besides at Hursley Park.
The first edition of our magazine (and there were several earlier newsletters) features a photograph of Don as our Chairman sitting alongside other original committee members Tony and Jacqui Sheldon, Keith Hayhurst and Gordon Phillips. The centre pages of the magazine list 200 members who had joined the society in its first few months, a testimony to the work Don and other members of the committee did to promote CMS. By the time of his resignation as Chair of the Society membership had grown to over 300.
Don Crossley was our founding father. In nearly 35 there have been just three Chairman of CMS – Don, Keith Hayhurst and myself. Our membership numbers are healthy, we still have an excellent magazines, regular auctions and well attended meetings – just as ‘the Don’ of CMS would like.
Richard Brown, Chairman
With thanks to Keith Hayhurst, past CMS magazines and ‘Cricket’s Collectors’ by David Frith.