Veteran batsman Terry reflects on more than 50 years at the crease for Victoria

Terry Follis
Terry Follis

You’ll not find too many cricketers who have spent more than 50 years at the crease.

Now in his seventies, Terry Follis is sure of a place in Victoria’s illustrious history, having started playing for the club as a 15-year-old.

“When I joined Victoria they were playing at what we called ‘Over The Hill’,” he said.

“All the kids in the area were playing cricket, although football would have been the main sport.

“I lived in Princes Street at the time then moved to Darling Avenue, then back to Victoria Street.”

He continued: “The vast majority of my cricket was played at Victoria.

“I played for Lurgan for two or three years. I was playing for them in 1966, the reason I remember the year is because of England winning the World Cup.

“Before I joined Victoria I’d played a wee bit of cricket at school, Lurgan Model. When school ended it was a way to keep on playing sport during the holidays.

“You made life-long friendships and the camaraderie was quite something. Because the club was started from scratch it gave us a real togetherness.

“Some of the boys that were there from the very start were Albert Cunningham, Jackie Denver, Ambrose Wilson and Sammy Malcolm.

“I started playing at about 15 and I was playing right up until two years ago, from 15 until I was 70.

“When I finished playing I was only playing a couple of games a year for the seconds or thirds.”

Terry added: “It wasn’t just about the cricket, it was about the camaraderie. We used to have tours down to Dublin and over to Isle of Man. Those were always very memorable. You always got a few boys going along who didn’t play cricket, but identified with Victoria.

“It’s great to see the way the club has progressed. We started with one team and now we’ve got three. It’s an amazing achievement that we can put three teams out when other, more senior clubs are struggling to get one or two.”

Summing up Victoria, Terry said: “What we lack in ability, we make up in camaraderie, enthusisasm and a determination to win games.

“This might have come from having a few players from a footballing background.”

When asked if Terry would answer the call in forthcoming seasons if he was needed to pull on the pads again, he said: “We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.”

Batsman Terry’s two best knocks for the club came against Templepatrick and Newry and Mourne. On both occasions he scored 102 not out.

Terry is also a bit fan of Glenavon. He is a member of Triangle Supporters Club and has followed the Lurgan Blues for as long as he’s been playing cricket.

Terry, who lives in Cherryville Park, is married to Edna and they have two children - Mark and Lynn.