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Baseball mourning death of Gardner; BASEBALL.

PAUL Gardner, who gained legendary status within the Welsh baseball game, passed away last weekend at the age of 62 after a battle with cancer.

Gardner played for the star Newport club Alexandra Old Boys, who ran out of the Pill area of his home town.

His genuine pace as an opening bowler put him right up among the best bowlers of his generation and Gardner made sure his club regularly competed for top honours in the 1970s and 80s.

Great bowlers of this time included John Smith, Charlie Kinsey, Paul Manniott, David Bishop and Jim Hobby, but Gardner was a 'quiet assassin' and always the best of gentlemen on and off the pitch.

He was very proud of the fact that he followed his father Harry Gardner who also played for Wales nine times before Paul's own international career.

Gardner junior captained Wales in 1986 and was also Welsh Baseballer of the Year.

After gaining his ninth cap Gardner stepped down from international baseball. There were definitely more caps in the pace ace, but he was happy to have achieved the same total as his father.

In his life, Gardner was a docker, as were a lot of his diamond compatriots of his era. As a young 17-year-old, Gardner also graced the rugby field as a winger for Cross Keys, but it was his beloved game of baseball and a passion to play for Alexandra Old Boys and Wales which made 'Trigger' Gardner one of Welsh baseball's greatest players of his generation.

The funeral will take place at St Stephen's Church in Pill, Newport, at 11.45am next Wednesday, November 16.

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* Paul Gardner
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Nov 9, 2011
Words:276
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