Former Hampshire player and first class umpire John Holder was a welcome guest at the recent Sponsors’ Evening at Heywood and was full of praise for the efforts of the volunteers and supporters that have done so much to improve the club.
Holder, who stood in 11 Tests and 19 ODI’s, had previously been a guest at the hugely successful NatWest CricketForce event in 2012 and has seen the club develop whilst he has been umpiring in the CLL.
The evening was an informal one where a good number of sponsors, supporters and volunteers were thanked for their contribution by Chairman John Rhodes and were treated to a free bar courtesy of long standing sponsors Horrox Cross & Wilkinson.
Former first team captain Bobby Cross then updated those present as to the achievements of the club in the last 12 months which included success on and off the field. There has been silverware with the Wood and Burton Cup victories but also personal successes with three more juniors being selected by Lancashire and with Kate’s achievements in the England side.
Cross also spoke about the recent ECB player survey which has highlighted some of the reasons amateur players are leaving the game with time commitments and the spirit of the game being two of the major factors.
It was pointed out that the club were proud to again have won the Spirit of Cricket award which is voted upon by the umpires and reflects the manner in which the team conduct themselves both on and off the field.
It was this point that Holder himself picked up on as he spoke about the need for both players and officials to feel comfortable within the game and that Heywood have been leading the way with their behaviour in recent years.
He also praised the club for being prepared to help itself and not wait for help to be given. He described Heywood as “a club that others could do well to learn from in terms of the welcoming environment and the efforts of volunteers. This is a club that has improved itself beyond recognition in the last few years and it is a credit to the people involved behind the scenes.”
The evening was a great success with commitment for sponsorship of matches and match balls being received and the renewal of valuable support for the junior teams.
As ever the club is very grateful for this invaluable support from the local community.
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