Chris Cottrell is variously groundsman, coach, junior supervisor and first aider at Yelverton Bohemians CC – and will umpire if needed. “He is a great asset to our club and I would like to show him how much he is appreciated by everyone,” said his nominator
While Monica Widdicombe was preparing teas at South Devon for nearly 30 years, husband Barry transitioned from second team player to chairman, groundsman, umpire and scorer – often all on the same day. Barry celebrated 25 years as club chairman in 2018. 'Devotion like shown to a club is rare in this day and age. The Widdicombes would be deserving nominees.'
Another man of many parts is Graham Curson of Whitchurch Wayfarers. Graham was a DCL panel umpire for 20 seasons, but always headed home to Whitchurch after his game. He is treasurer, umpire and press secretary – and that’s just the jobs his nominator knows about. “Graham does not seek the limelight or the recognition of the club members for the hours that he puts in. Without him our club would not be the success that it is.”
Woodbury & Newton St Cyres chairman Ian Hughes has been nominated in the Heartbeat of the Club category. He runs the bar, mows the outfield, cuts the pitch and opens the batting for the 1st XI. During the close season he repainted the changing rooms, shower room and the pavilion exterior. “Being called chairman does not tell the whole story,” said Ian’s nominator.
Imogen Oldfield – Imie to her friends – dived into her role as All Stars activator at Seaton with huge enthusiasm. She organises soft-ball tournaments, arranges extra practice sessions and is currently designing a new kit for the women’s team “Nothing seems to trouble her and she is always available to help out,” said her nominator.
Jack Skilton is not an active cricketer himself, but that has not stopped him assisting the Chagford youth section for the past three seasons. He uses skills learned as a soccer coach to good effect with the youngsters at the club. “Jack is an asset to our junior section and we are lucky to have him as part of the volunteer coaching staff,” his nominator said.
It would take too long to go through all the jobs Ashburton chairman Jerry Crouch has taken on during six years in the post. A brief resume includes: chairman, colts manager, ground staff, social secretary, bar chairman, cleaner and school liaison “Jerry also plays every Saturday for the 2nd XI, making him an absolute asset and one we simply could not be without,” said his nominator.
Dan Brierley is more than just the 1st XI captain at Braunton he has been, according to his nominator: “Instrumental in re-building the club from its lowest point in early 2017 when it was in serious debt.” Builder Brierley project managed a premises facelift at Kelsey as well as reviving the club’s fortunes on the field.
Niall Leahy coaches across the youth section at Hatherleigh, starting with the All Stars intake before adding the under10s and the 13-plus Academy youngsters to his commitment. This season he is captain of the North Devon League XI, which means busy Sundays as well. “He is reliable and an excellent role model for the younger members of the club,” said his nominator.
Cornwood’s Nick Goodliffe has plenty to do in his roles as vice-chairman, senior colts manager, under-14s’ manager, All Stars lead activator and player. “If every club had a ‘Nick’ cricket would be thriving everywhere,” his nominator said.
Pauline Harding has spent so much time supporting husband Fred’s work at Sampford Peverell & Tiverton she has been nominated in her own right. And when Fred is away with work, she thinks nothing of jumping on the roller and helping with the ground-keeping jobs. Pauline co-ordinates Monday night youth cricket and the administration that goes with it. And, according to her nominator, ‘she bakes a lovely cake’.
Clubs just don’t function without people like Jan Meyer, who has been a volunteer at Barton CC for more than 40 years. She pulled her first pint behind the bar in 1972, the first of many jobs on behalf of the club. Jan became secretary in 1989 and only stood down in 2018. Jan doubled up as first and second team scorer when needed. She had the coloured pencils out this season to assist the second team. If not needed in the scorebox, Jan can be found in the kitchen baking cakes and making teas.
Chagford have opened up cricket in an inclusive way with All Stars, women’s girls’ and now walking cricket in association with the University of the Third Age.
Plymouth have hosted two festivals for under eights and under nines as a logical progression from the All Stars programme aimed at primary school youngsters. For youngsters in the 9-12 age bracket, there are informal Saturday morning sessions.