Bob Bestwick was the son of Bill Bestwick and he inherited his father’s skills as a bowler, but thankfully not his legendary thirst. After success in the Derbyshire Leagues, Bob followed his illustrious father to South Wales and played in 1920 as a professional at Neath during which time he appeared for Glamorgan, although he failed to score a run or take a wicket for the Welsh county.
His time in South Wales followed a spell from September 1917 as a pilot with the Royal Flying Corps before securing a place on Derbyshire’s junior staff. He made his first-class debut for Derbyshire against Warwickshire in late May 1920 but went wicketless and no doubt, on the recommendation of his father, accepted an invitation to join Neath as a professional.
In early July Bob played for Glmaorgan in their friendly against Monmouthshire at Briton Ferry. The young paceman failed to take a wicket again, before returning north and in early August played again for Derbyshire, this time at Chesterfield against Sussex. Once again, Bob went wicketless, but a place on Derbyshire’s permanent staff was offered.
Bob subsequently appeared in three further Championship matches for Derbyshire during 1922, the first of which – against Warwickshire at Derby – saw him open the bowling with his father, who had also returned to the Peakites. Bob claimed 2/47 in the first innings but these proved to be the only first-class wickets of his brief career in county cricket.
He returned to club cricket in Derbyshire and South Yorkshire, and played for several years for Colne, where he also worked during the winter months in the local textile industry. He also served as an Air Raid Warden during the Second World War.
BESTWICK, Robert James Saxton (‘Bob’)
Born – Heanor, 29 September 1899.
Died – St. Ouen, Jersey, 3 July 1980.
Batting and Fielding Record
Minor County Friendlies – 0* v Monmouthshire at Ynysmaerdy Ground, Briton Ferry, 1920.