James 'Jemmy' Aylward has a claim on being Warnford's most famous son. In 1777 whilst playing for Hambledon, Aylward batted for more than two days against an All England XI attack "that included the great 'Lumpy' master of the 'shooter' and commanding the steadiest length of all the bowlers of his day". This wonderful cutting from 1948 describes Aylward as "rather clumsy"!
Since the 1950's cricket at Warnford has become synonymous with the Hampshire Hogs. The following extract from the Club's annual report for 1995 provides a history of this relationship.
One of the most exciting developments was the opening of the new pavilion in 1974.
My father did not limit his enthusiasm for supporting local sporting activity to Warnford alone. The following cutting from the mid-1950's describes the earliest days of the recreation ground in West Meon.
Apropos the West Meon recreation ground, I came across Ronald Stone's excellent 'West Meon Remembered' from which the following two extracts are taken.
The next thing to happen in the village was the building and opening of the recreation ground above the Headon View council houses in 1954.... Mr Chester provided a pavilion but the mens's toilets were in the hedge....
The next big thing to happen in 1955, was the cricket match between West Meon & Warnford Cricket Club and the MCC.... Mr Chester brought his heavy roller up from our Warnford pitch. He obtained it from Hampshire County Cricket Club.... On the day the whole place had cricket fever.... the result was MCC 204 for seven, West Meon & Warnford 73 all out!
Whilst it's not strictly cricket I thought that this was the right place to include the following cutting from The Daily Mail in 1949. I have to correct the record because my father was a committed Portsmouth fan!
Bill "Rockie" Rochford actually played for both Portsmouth and Southampton. He won the FA Cup with Portsmouth in 1939 (who held it for seven years until it resumed in 1946)! Rochford joined Southampton in 1946 for the princely fee of £550.