Punchy's Hampshire Years: Cricket and Dancing

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'Punchy’s Hampshire Years' tells the story of Alan Rayment’s life from 1949 to 1959, the years when he spent his summers inside the game of cricket. The book, following on from 'Punchy through the Covers', was to be the second of a three-volume autobiography, but sadly Alan Rayment died before he was able to complete it. Stephen Chalke has drawn together the written chapters, as well as notes, taped conversations and other titbits, to complete the story. There are delightful insights into the life of a professional county cricketer in the 1950s, a fascinating account of the successful ballroom dancing business that Alan and his wife Betty developed during those years and powerful descriptions of the life-changing spiritual experiences that led him to leave behind his life in cricket and dance. Even when he spends the summer of 1959 as an assistant coach at Lord’s, Alan’s radical thinking comes to the fore, generating a most surprising tale. In the words of his former Hampshire captain Colin Ingleby-Mackenzie, Alan Rayment had 'great ability and insight into people’s characters' and 'a number of qualities unusual in the normal first-class cricketer’ – and 'Punchy’s Hampshire Years' bears that out. Warmth and humour combine with a free-thinking spirit, ever curious to explore fresh worlds and new ideas, making this a stimulating memoir which is, indeed, much more ‘unusual’ than one by a ‘normal first-class cricketer’.

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Fairfield Books
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