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Cricket legend’s vegetable love

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Legendary sportsman, Eldon Raynor Sr, has put his cricket playing days behind him and has traded in his wickets for a watering can.

The 83-year-old Cup Match great, who scored 738 runs in the summer classic, donated large pumpkins that he has home grown to two local nursing homes — Lorraine and Packwood.

“It all started off with my mother; she was a good farmer and used to farm all day,” Mr Raynor told The Royal Gazette.

“She never even got tired. She grew any type of vegetable you could name and could reap the benefits from it.

“Before I grew the pumpkins, my buddies were telling me about the male and the female flowers from the pumpkins and how the bees come and take the seeds over from the male to the female, so I tried it and that's why I think these pumpkins are so big.”

Mr Raynor said that gardening kept him busy along with his 18-hole putting green that he built right above his plots at his home on Bowe Lane.

“I enjoy it just as much as I enjoy playing my golf, tennis and cricket. I decided to donate them to the rest homes because one of these days I may be in one, and one day I would hope that someone is going to visit and bring something with them.”

However, this isn't the only thing the former St George's player for 21 years has done for the community. He has been sponsoring young cricketers, providing them with equipment and items they need to excel in the sport. He has also given $100 to every person that has reached 100 years old for the past five years — there have been 16 people in total.

“I do this strictly because of my mother Gladys Raynor. She died when she was 96 years of age and I told her that after her death I will make sure that I give $100 to every person that reaches that milestone. They are always very happy.”

Jennifer Gibson, a representative for Lorraine Rest Home, spoke of how thankful the home is for the donation.

She said: “The pumpkin is definitely going to benefit us because we have over 30 residents there, we have daycare people as well so it is wonderful.

“He will be able to give them more than one meal I think. I think that it is very kind of Mr Raynor to even think of us and I think he does a wonderful job with all the growing he does. We really appreciate it.”

Sports legend Eldon Raynor, has grown large pumpkins at his home (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)
Sports legend Eldon Raynor, has grown large pumpkins at his home (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)
Sports legend Eldon Raynor, has grown large pumpkins at his home (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)
Sports legend Eldon Raynor (center), has grown large pumpkins at his home and donated them to Jennifer Gibson from Lorraine Rest Home and Desma Wilson from Packwood Rest Home (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

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Published August 11, 2016 at 9:00 am (Updated August 11, 2016 at 7:49 am)

Cricket legend’s vegetable love

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