History – The “T.N. Pearce” Era

Thomas Neill Pearce (Tom Pearce) was born in November 1905 and died in April 1994.

He played cricket for Essex and was captain of Essex from 1933 until 1950 when he retired from first class cricket. He was also an International Rugby Union Referee.

On retirement from playing first class cricket he was made an England Test Selector a job which he held for many years.

At Essex he progressed from Club Secretary to Club Chairman and then President.

He managed the MCC tour of India, Ceylon and Pakistan in the winter of 1961/1962.

During his period in charge at the Scarborough Festival there was no falling away in interest either from the players or the spectators and all matches continued to have first class status.

There were many wonderful Tom Pierce sides against the Indians, Australia, West Indies, New Zealand and South Africa.

In 1963 the distinction between Gentlemen and players was finally removed and the Festival lost one of its regular matches.

The first sponsored match took place in 1965 when an England XI played a World XI and the World XI was sponsored by Rothmans of Pall Mall.

Yorkshire as always continued to support the Festival in the regular Yorkshire v MCC fixture.

In 1970 JH Fenner of Hull agreed to sponsor a 60 over knock out competition which became The Fenner Trophy played over three days and with the three trophy winners of the year versus Yorkshire. It was very successful financially but the MCC fixture had to make way. When Tom retired from being Festival Organiser in 1981 he had been only the third Organiser since the Festival was first played in 1876.