On September 4, 1982, Surrey took on Warwickshire in the NatWest Trophy final at Lord’s. It was to prove a triumphant day for the side captained by Roger Knight and managed by Micky Stewart. Richard Spiller looks back
“Nothing beats winning. Nothing.”
Those four words neatly summed up Micky Stewart’s approach to cricket, whether as a player or coach.
That said, it needed some patience when he returned to The Oval as Surrey’s first cricket manager in 1979. Much of the previous decade – since he had led the county to the County Championship in 1971 – had been spent languishing outside of trophy contention.
Upon his return there was an immediate upsurge in fortunes and the county were always in the running for the Championship, finishing runners-up to Mike Brearley’s superb Middlesex side in 1980.
They also reached three finals in as many years; defeats in the Benson & Hedges Cup by Essex (1979) and Somerset (1981) sandwiching a reversal against Middlesex in the Gillette Cup.
Yet at the fourth time of asking it finally came right; On Saturday September 4th 1982, a glorious sunny day at Lord’s, Surrey vanquished Warwickshire in a nine-wicket mauling in the NatWest Trophy final.
On the way to the final there had been victories against Durham (111 runs), Northamptonshire (six wickets) and Hampshire (eight wickets) before Middlesex were hammered by 125 runs in the semi-final at The Oval, ending Brearley’s hopes of retiring with another double given his side had already all but won that title.
Winning the toss was even more important than usual in the end-of-season showpiece given matches started at 10am that year, Roger Knight sending in Warwickshire and seeing them collapse to 74-8. Much of that had to do with an electrifying spell by left-arm speedster David Thomas (3-26) while Sylvester Clarke, Robin Jackman and Knight all claimed two victims in finishing off the Bears for 158.
There were no scares in the run chase despite the best efforts of Warwickshire (and England) captain Bob Willis against his old county. Geoff Howarth (31) departed at 80 but Alan Butcher (86no) and David Smith (28no) made serene progress to a nine-wicket victory in the 34th over.
The trophy was a treasured moment in the Stewart reign, but he also played a vital role in the building of Surrey’s youth coaching scheme, which would reap many dividends in future decades and is still doing so today.
We take a look at the players involved:
Back row, from left:
Kevin Mackintosh: The seam bowling all-rounder’s first-class career began at Nottinghamshire in 1978 before moving to Surrey – his home county – in 1981. But it was cut short by a serious back injury two years later and despite brave efforts to return, he retired shortly before the 1985 season.
David Thomas: Man of the match that day at Lord’s, “Teddy” Thomas was one of the quickest bowlers in the country and alongside Sylvester Clarke formed a hostile partnership. Making his first-class debut in 1977, Thomas also developed into an effective attacking batsman who scored two County Championship centuries, being included in the England squad for the final Test of that season without making the final 11. Injuries lessened his effectiveness and he moved to Gloucestershire after the 1987 season but retired a year later on being diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. Thomas remained active in business, despite the increasing effects of the disease, also serving on Surrey’s general committee. He died in 2012, aged 53.
Graham Roope: An elegant front-foot dominant batsman, Graham Roope played in the first three rounds of Surrey’s NatWest campaign but had lost his place by the end of his final season at Surrey.
It was the end of a fine professional career, which had seen him play 21 Tests and eight one-day internationals amid 403 first-class – falling just short of 20,000 runs – and 308 List A matches. His 602 catches at first-class level only hinted at the brilliance of his work around the bat. He was also a fine goalkeeper. Roope went on to play league cricket and coach at Ampleforth College and Woodhouse Grove in Yorkshire. A popular tour host, he died of a heart attack in Grenada in 2006, aged 60.
David Smith: The faster bowlers came the better for David Smith, who stood tall at the crease. Making his first-class debut for Surrey aged 17, Smith went on to play 319 matches for not only his native county, over two spells, but Worcestershire (1984-86) and Sussex (1989-1994). His relish for facing the quicks saw him called up by England for the West Indies tour of 1985-86, when he played two Tests, and as an emergency replacement four years later although he broke his thumb in a tour match.
Sylvester Clarke: When it came to fast and nasty bowlers, Sylvester Clarke was right up there. Joining Surrey in 1979, he terrorised a generation of English batsmen who frequently had nightmares about facing him on some of the quickest pitches in the world. Clarke was unlucky to be of the same generation of some of the world’s greatest fast bowlers and then ended his chances of international selection, after 11 Tests, by joining the West Indies rebels touring South Africa, where he was greatly in demand. Overall his 942 first-class wickets at less than 20 underline his skill and menace. Clarke died in his native Barbados, aged 44, in 1999.
Ian Payne: An attractive batsman and skilful seam bowler, Ian Payne won the Cricket Society’s award for the leading all-rounder in English schools cricket in 1976 and made his Surrey debut the following summer, when he also appeared for England U19s. He remained a fringe member of the squad until 1984, moving to Gloucestershire for the next two seasons and then playing for Shropshire until 1997.
Graham Monkhouse: A wholehearted performer, “The Farmer” made his debut for Cumberland in 1973 but his first-class entrance to the first-class game did not come for another eight years, on joining Surrey. After the thunderbolts of Clarke and Thomas, Monkhouse offered another test to batsmen with his strict adherence to line and length, backed by wicketkeeper Jack Richards standing up to the stumps. His doughty batting was another key element, rewarded by a joyously-received Championship century – his only one – against Kent in 1984. Monkhouse retired from county cricket in 1986, returning to farming.
Monte Lynch: An enterprising strokemaker, Monte Lynch was rarely out of the game given he was an athletic fielder and fine close catcher who could also bowl off-spin. His staunch 29no had kept Surrey in the semi-final against Middlesex when a collapse threatened, ensuring the full 60 overs was used and a winning total was achieved. Lynch had made his debut for Surrey in 1977 and became an integral member of the team for more than a decade, also appearing at first-class level for Demerara and Guyana. He might have played more for England than his three one-day internationals, against West Indies in 1988, but for joining a rebel tour to South Africa and then suffering a badly broken leg in early 1989. He moved to Gloucestershire from 1995-97 and remains involved coaching in and around Surrey.
Geoff Howarth: An elegant if enigmatic batsman, Geoff Howarth had played for Surrey for more than a decade by 1982 and would go on to captain the county in 1984-85. His leadership of New Zealand was central to their development as a Test power, not least a maiden series victory over England in 1983-84. Awarded the MBE in 1981 and OBE in 1984, he played 47 Tests and 70 ODIs for the Kiwis. Two fine catches at slip in the final underlined his prowess.
Alan Butcher: The head of the Butcher cricket dynasty relished leading Surrey to victory in the Lord’s sunshine, one of three survivors – alongside Howarth and Jackman – of the side which had beaten Leicestershire there eight years earlier in the Benson & Hedges Cup final but won nothing since. Butcher played one Test and one ODI for England and his 22,667 first-class runs in 402 matches included a sizeable chunk for Glamorgan, who he joined in 1987 and captained from 1989-92. His coaching career took in Essex, a return to Surrey (1998-2008) and then spell at the helm of Zimbabwe. With two brothers who played first-class cricket, Butcher’s two sons did too, Mark playing 71 Tests and captaining Surrey from 2005-09.
Roger Knight (captain): Having started his career at Surrey, Roger Knight’s career took in spells at Gloucestershire and Sussex before returning to The Oval as captain in 1978. His first season in charge saw the club finish next to bottom – their lowest ever position – but once he teamed up with manager Micky Stewart it was all change. Knight’s calm stewardship of the side was matched by his solid upper order contributions and handy – if underused – medium pace. Stepping down as captain in 1983 and retiring 12 months later to concentrate on his teaching career, Knight went on to be MCC’s chief executive (1994-2006) and president of both Surrey and MCC.
Micky Stewart: No one appreciated Surrey’s victory more than Micky Stewart. A key member of the team which had claimed seven successive County Championships (1952-58), he had patiently led the rebuilding of the county side to win it again as captain in 1971, having played eight Tests along the way. Stewart sacrificed a burgeoning career with Slazenger to become Surrey’s first manager in 1979 and went on to become the first England boss between 1986-92. Awarded the OBE for services to cricket in 1993, he became president of the club (1998-99) while sons Neil and Alec maintain the Stewart family’s close involvement in Surrey cricket.
Robin Jackman: Winning the NatWest Trophy was almost the last act of Robin Jackman’s Surrey career. The stalwart seamer, on whom captain could depend whatever the conditions, retired from first-class cricket after the following winter’s England tour to Australia to take up a coaching role in South Africa. Jackman’s first-class career earned him 1,402 wickets at 22 but his path to Test selection was blocked for many years by the strength of the competition. When he finally received the call – playing four Tests and 15 ODIs in all – it almost resulted in the abandonment of the England tour to West Indies in 1981 because of his South African connections, which were later reinforced by a long and distinguished broadcasting career. He died in 2020, aged 75.
Jack Richards: The mercurial wicketkeeper from Cornwall made his first-class debut in 1976, adding to his impressive glovework by turning himself from a tailender into a highly effective if unorthodox batsman who scored a century for England against Australia in Perth in 1986-87. Richards was to play eight Tests and 22 ODIs, remaining at The Oval until 1988. A business career in Europe was combined with rugby and football roles at Cornish Pirates and Truro City respectively.