26 May, Thursday

Vale Frank 'Bomber' Lancaster


Vale Frank ‘Bomber’ Lancaster

Praneel HiraFeatured

Late in 2021, Ellerslie Cricket legend Frank ‘Bomber’ Lancaster passed away, after a short battle with cancer.

A Life Member and Premier Scorer for more than 40 years, Bomber was a man who dedicated his love for the game to the Ellerslie Cricket Club and the wider cricketing community.

This was reflected in the capacity turn-out to his funeral service which included members of Ellerslie CC, multiple other cricket clubs, Auckland Cricket and New Zealand Cricket.

At the funeral, Bill Fowler, captain of Ellerslie Premiers in the 1980s, spoke on behalf of the cricketing community and recalled Lancaster as a loyal and eternally reliable club man.

“My memory tells me that every single day that I ever played cricket for Ellerslie, Bomber was there scoring.

“He wasn’t necessarily considered a legend of the club back then, but we weren’t to know at the time that over thirty years later he would have seen us off, and the next lot, and the next few lots after them.”

Ellerslie Cricket Chair Rob Harman said Bomber was a club man in every sense.

The overwhelming evidence of the respect and esteem that Bomber was held in is reflected by the messages of condolences and support that we have received from the ACUSA and its members, and the wider Auckland club cricket community.”

“On behalf of Ellerslie CC, I thank those who have been in touch with us. Bomber left an indelible impression on our club and we look forward to continuing to honour his life as we draw closer to our 100th jubilee next season.”

Last year, when Auckland Cricket spoke to Lancaster about celebrating 40 years behind the scorebook, he said the game kept him young.

“There have been many friendships developed over the years. It is a means of keeping me young.”

“What better way is there to spend a Saturday than sitting amongst players on the sideline, listening to the endless ridiculous diatribes that emanate from their mouths and even participating in such conversations.

Fellow scorer Jocelyn Goodger recalls the attitude and commitment shown by Bomber to start scoring on the iPad.

“Several years ago we were told we were to start scoring on iPads.

“Hmmmmm”, said Bomber, “I will stick with the book”.

“iPads were duly distributed, and we were invited to the Cricket Society for training. Come the first game and there is Bomber with his pen in one hand, the other hand poised over the iPad, ready for action.”

On behalf of the cricketing community, we offer our condolences to all Bomber’s friends and family, as well as those who had the privilege of meeting him.

We thank Bomber for his immense contribution to cricket within Auckland; his presence will be sorely missed but never forgotten.