The whole of North Devon Cricket Club and the wider cricketing community is sadly having to come to terms with the tragic death of Tom Allin.
Tom was a key part of our championship winning team of 2007 and then returned to us in 2013 following his 6 years with Warwickshire CCC and was a highly respected member of the club. His passing will leave a massive hole here at NDCC.
Tom was an extremely talented all-round cricketer who played for Warwickshire and was vice-captain of North Devon’s team in the Devon League last summer. There is currently a feeling of total disbelief shared by team mates at the loss of such a valued member of the club. Club Chairman, Mark Ansell has commented that “everyone is devastated, he was such a nice guy and it has come as such a shock.
“We send our condolences to Tom’s family, our thoughts are so much with them. He was a wonderful cricketer – the best bowler in Devon – and I loved watching him bowl, he had a wonderful action.
“He was quite an understated guy but everyone loved him. There was no ego about Tom. He will leave an enormous hole in the club.”
Tom, who was 28 in November, was educated at Bideford College and North Devon College, and went on to play for Warwickshire. When his contract expired in 2013 he returned to North Devon as a player and coach.
Cricket has always played a large part of Tom’s life, dad Tony had been a professional cricketer with Glamorgan and played for Devon. Older brother Matt has been a prolific run scorer for Bideford CC.
Tom started his cricket with Bideford before joining us at North Devon. He left Instow to join Warwickshire in 2008 where he played for 6 years. Devon were quick to spot Tom’s talent and he represented the County in their youth teams up to under-21 level. He was 19 when he made his debut for the full Devon team in the Minor Counties Championship.
On his return to North Devon, cricket coaching was a natural progression for Tom. He had obtained a degree in sports coaching from the University of Cardiff, and became heavily involved in school sports coaching around Barnstaple and Bideford.
Recently Tom was working a teacher at Our Lady’s Catholic Primary School in Barnstaple where Principal Rob Meech said, “Tom Allin was a much-loved teacher and friend to all at Our Lady’s. He made a phenomenal contribution to the lives of all he worked with.
“His sense of fun, gentleness and devotion will live on in our hearts. All our prayers are with his family and friends at this sad time.”
The impact Tom has had on all of those in cricket he has come into touch with has been far reaching. This has been displayed by the many messages of condolence that have come in from across the world of cricket.
Typical of the messages received is one from Bideford CC chairman Kevin Fishleigh, who played with Tom when he was younger, “Tom never forgot his first club, even returning to play for us in the Sunday league occasionally when Warwickshire gave him some time off.
“Many of us watched him grow up into a fine young man and a fine cricketer, and our coaches and captains are so proud of all that Tom achieved in his career from his beginnings at Bideford CC.
“He will be remembered as a cheeky chappie, a good team man, and a great coach with the kids.”
Tom’s former club Warwickshire issued a statement expressing sadness at his death; “Tom was an incredibly popular member of the professional squad during his six years with Warwickshire, and he made one First Class and one List A appearance before returning to his native Devon at the end of the 2013.
“The thoughts of all at Warwickshire County Cricket Club are with Tom’s family and friends, and we would ask that their privacy be respected during this difficult time.”
The comments from current and former team mates, coaches and the wider cricketing world has been touching;
“Devastated to hear about the death of young Tommy Allin. Thoughts and prayers are with his family & friends #RIPTom #AlwaysBeABear”, Ian Bell, Warwickshire CC and England
“RIP Tom Allin. Cannot believe your gone mate. It won’t be the same down the club without you. Won’t go a day without thinking about you buddy. Heaven has gained an angel. RIP”, Jamie Overton, North Devon Cricket Club, Somerset CCC and England (A)
“…RIP Tom…words fail me at times like this but here are a few that spring to mind – fearless, inspirational, grumpy, match winner, loyal, tireless, ran through a brick wall for you, first on the team sheet, good friend, glass back, loved….LEGEND xx”, Rob Ayre, North Devon Cricket Club
“Love you tommy! Rest in peace mate..”, Matt Dart, North Devon Cricket Club
“Very sad to hear that former @WarwickshireCCC and @DevonCCC bowler Tom Allin has passed away. More tragic news this week #CricketFamily”, Somerset CCC
“Terrible to hear the news of Tom Allin this morning. Thoughts go out to his family and friends at North Devon and Warwickshire.” Marcus Trescothick, Somerset CCC and England
“Absolutely gutted to hear about the death of young Tom Allin. Thoughts and prayers are with the family.” Allan Donald, Warwickshire CCC and South Africa
“The news of the death of Tom Allin is just so very sad. A really nice young man. The first young player I signed at the Bears.” Ashley Giles, Warwickshire CCC and England
“We are sad to hear of the passing of Tom Allin. Our sympathies go to his family, friends and colleagues @DevonCCC & @WarwickshireCCC”, ECB
Tom Allin, 1987 – 2016, Gone too soon!