Ex-Rangers all-rounder Lightbourne, dies aged 81
The Southampton Rangers cricket community is mourning the death of another past great.
Former top all rounder Gladstone (Dynamite) Lightbourne passed away at King Edward VII Memorial Hospital on Sunday just days after suffering a stroke.
He was 81.
During his heyday the late cricketer made a name for himself in the domestic game as a left-arm spinner and specialist slip fielder.
Lightbourne is perhaps best remembered as one of the integral players on Rangers’ all-conquering teams of the 1950s.
“Gladstone was a very good bowler who could bowl leg breaks, the straight one and off breaks,” recalled former Rangers teammate Eldon Raynor. “He could turn the ball square, was very versatile and difficult to read. One time he got five wickets for about eight or nine runs and had batsmen confused. When you get a bowler that can bowl leg breaks, the straight ball and off spin they are really difficult to play.
“He was a great cricketer. He could have made Cup Match in his heyday had he put the time in. But he was a type of fellow who was really into his work — work always came first to him.
“Gladstone was a beautiful individual and I never heard him use any language towards anyone. He was very quiet, fun to have around in the dressing room and he also liked to bend his elbow as well.”
The late Lightbourne, who also served on Rangers’ management committee after hanging up his cricket whites, groomed his skills along with Raynor and others at the former Elray Tennis Courts, once located at Raynor’s Drive in Southampton.
“Everybody used to come there from all over Southampton because we didn’t have a field at that time,” added Raynor. “That’s where Gladstone and I were moulded and where we all got started. We used to go there and practise and we named it the Southampton Youth Club back then.
“Gladstone was a good asset to the club and community as a whole,” added Raynor, who turns 80 later this week. “The community has lost a good servant.”
Lightbourne’s death follows on the heels of another past Rangers’ great, Lloyd Raynor, who passed away last February at age 75.
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