Garth Wheatley

(extract from the Eton Fives Association Annual Report 2001/02)

Garth Wheatley was known as an Uppinghamian legend. As Master-in-Charge of Fives for countless years he once confirmed his details for the EFA Annual Report with the comment, 'life sentence'.

But, as those who knew him realised, he loved every minute of it. His welcome and hospitality for visiting teams was second to none and no matter how bleak the winter weather, he would watch intently every pair in every match, egging on the school players until the last shot. He was also a perfect ambassador for the game as a Jester.

Following in his father's footsteps, Garth was educated at Uppingham himself, where he was Captain of the School, Captain of Fives and cricket and of the CCF. He was a Scholar of Balliol College, Oxford, achieving a first class honours degree, followed by a Doctorate. He became a Demonstrator in the Physics Department and worked on highly secret Physics in relation to the development of Nuclear Technology - something he almost never talked about.

Between 1943 and 1945 he played cricket for Oxford against Cambridge, becoming secretary and, for the last two years, Captain. He also played for Oxford Authentics and later played five times for Surrey. He kept wicket at Lords in 1946. He was a member of the MCC and a Free Forrester.

Garth returned to Uppingham in 1951 to teach Physics but he was really lured back to coach cricket for which he became Master-in-Charge for thirty-two years. He became the Housemaster at Brooklands for fifteen years and Second Master for six. He was well read and was a stalwart of the staff amateur dramatic society.

Even in retirement, Garth continued a commitment to Uppingham in and out of term and most especially to cricket. A reserved, private man, among those he knew he was a wonderful, warm and enthusiastic host and companion and an entertaining raconteur.

We extend to his wife, Heather and children, Owen, Briony, Duncan and Kerry, our sympathy at the loss of a remarkable and devoted husband, father and friend.