Roger Vowles spent more than a dozen years at Trent Bridge and he would be the first to acknowledge that his true value to the club came when he swapped the Pavilion for the offices.

Vowles, born on 5 April 1932, played his first match for Notts in a Second Eleven fixture against his home county, Lincolnshire, in the town of his birth, Grimsby; not a notable home-coming, he bowled 13 wicketless overs across two innings and did not bat in Notts’ only innings. He played regularly for the Seconds until 1969 in both the Minor Counties Championship and the Second XI Championship.

His First-Class career was rather shorter – he made his debut for the first team in 1957 versus Derbyshire at Ilkeston and played 16 First-Class matches.  He batted right-hand and bowled right-arm medium pace and in his 16 outings scored 292 runs at 11.68 and a top score of 54, his only First-Class half-century; he took 23 wickets at exactly 40.00 with a best return of 4-106 v Essex.

In 1958, he took up the post of Secretary to the Supporters’ Association, the office was situated within the ground at the back of the old ladies pavilion on Hound Road side, which was the first of a series of important administrative roles that he held over the next ten years or so.  Making the move to a clerical post was something of a return for Vowles whose first job on leaving school, and before he tried to make his way playing cricket, was as a clerk in the fishing industry in Grimsby. In 1969, he retired from the job of Assistant Secretary to NCCC to take up a post outside cricket, running his own travel agency. 

Roger Vowles died, aged 91, on 29 December 2023 at the Nottinghamshire Hospice on Woodborough Road, Nottingham. His partner in the original travel business (Apartair Travel) was former team-mate Norman Hill, who pre-deceased Roger by seven months; Roger Vowles also ran Shire Holidays, based in Keyworth later in his career.

Unlikely as it may seem, there was another R C Vowles active in the sporting field at roughly the same time, an amateur footballer with Pegasus and Corinthian Casuals but, despite what some sources say, that was not the late Roger Charles Vowles of Grimsby and Nottinghamshire.

January 2024

Nottinghamshire First-Class Number: 411

See Rober Vowles's career stats here