Fred Rumsey was a genuine left arm fast bowler who any captain would have loved to have had in their armoury and in his all too short stay at the County Ground he took over 500 First Class wickets at less than 20 runs each.
Fred was 28 years old when he arrived in Taunton in 1963 on a special registration from Worcestershire where the presence of regular quickies Len Coldwell and Jack Flavell limited him to just 13 games. Fred was an instant success and in his first season he claimed 102 wickets at 19.50 runs each from the almost 800 overs he sent down. The locals loved their new signing and he responded by playing his heart out.
His successful start continued in the following season and he was noticed by the England bosses. Fred was called up to make his Test debut against the Australians at Old Trafford in July 1964 and over the next 12 months he played five times from his country taking 17 wickets at 27.11.
Fred enjoyed his best season in 1965 when he took 102 First Class wickets for Somerset including a career best eight for 26 against Hampshire at Bath. Two seasons later, in 1967, Fred Rumsey played a major part in bowling Somerset into their first ever one-day final at Lord’s when he took nine wickets at a miserly cost of just 12.77 runs apiece in the Gillette Cup. That same season also saw the establishment of the Cricketer’s Association, a cause that Fred had championed for several years.
His final season was in 1968 when he played in all 27 of the Championship matches and topped the Somerset bowling averages taking 72 wickets at a cost of 24.05 runs each. At the end of that year Fred packed his bags and headed for a new post at Derbyshire where he was their public relations officer and also played in a few one-day games.
Between 1963 and 1968 Rumsey played in 153 First Class matches for Somerset in which he took 520 wickets at an average of 19.78, with a best of eight for 26. In List A cricket Fred took 30 wickets at a cost of 11.36 runs each.