Heathcoat - the ground Graeme Townsend loved

THE annual Graeme Townsend Memorial Match at Heathcoat CC is just a couple of weeks away.

Townsend, who was profoundly physically disabled, expressed his love of cricket as Heathcoat secretary and a member of the Devon CCC committee.

Graeme TownsendBoth Graeme’s brothers played for Devon and Gareth was on the books at Somerset for four years. He is now the Academy director at Surrey CCC.

Graeme died 19 years ago aged just 35 and every season since then the game has been played in his memory.

Initially it was friends, clubmates and old school pals who played. Many still turn out – along with their sons.

A Graeme Townsend select team will take on a Tiverton District XI put together by Jim Cridland at Heathcoat on Sunday, August 27 at noon

Among the players committed to the game are Gareth Townsend, Nick Folland, Clive Jones, Mark Govier, Keith Elliott and John Hurley.

Jack and Ben Townsend, Joe Hurley, Harrison Folland, and Dan Elliott represent the next generation.

The match starts at 2pm and all friends of Heathcoat are welcome to attend.

The match is scheduled for 40 overs a side, although it had to be reduced last summer to a twenty20 game.

“We waited patiently until the rain stopped and the sun came out and gave us a chance to play an exciting twenty20 match, said Graeme’s dad Terry.

“This typifies the Club spirit of all who play in deciding they were prepared to wait if we could get a game in.

“Our thanks to the hospitality of Heathcoat CC, and the help and patience of groundsman Mark Willis.”

The Townsend XI won the 2016 game by 19 runs.