By A SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT
A well-known local charity will receive a near £1,000 boost from a sell-out, fund-raising cricket dinner with Vic Marks and James Hildreth as the special quests.
The event at the Devon Motel was organised by the newly merged Alphington and Countess Wear Cricket Club, and Lesley-Ann Simpson from the Chestnut Appeal for Men’s Health was presented with an interim cheque for £500 which will be topped up over the coming weeks as extra donations come in.
Some extra money was raised towards the Devon under-15 cricket tour to South Africa, which is currently under way. Parents of two of the boys in the tour squad handed over the cheque.
Both Jason Carlisle and Mark Tyler are recovering well from prostate cancer, and organiser Tyler wanted to use the event to raise awareness of the illness.
“It was meeting Jason through cricket that prompted me to have the PSA blood test that led to my prostate cancer diagnosis,” said Tyler.
“I have a lot to thank Jason for, and I hope that I can now do the same for others. I was extremely grateful to Lesley-Ann for being there in person to talk about charity’s wonderful work.
“I would urge men off a ‘certain age’ reading this now to have the PSA blood check - it could save your life."
Former Somerset and England spinner Marks recounted tales from his playing days and later life as a cricket broadcaster and writer, some of which are included in his latest book Original Spin.
Hildreth, very much a current Somerset player, took part in a question-and-answer session with Tyler, a professional broadcaster for many years.
Tyler thanked the numerous individuals and businesses in the area that supported the event by attending and donating raffle and auction items.
“And of course we could not have done it without Vic Marks, James Hildreth and comedian Tank Sherman, who all gave their time for free,” said Tyler.
Tyler said a highlight of the evening was a bid of £150 with strings attached for a signed Exeter City shirt.
“The condition is the new Alphington and Countess Wear captain James Bogue had to have a photograph taken wearing it - and he is an ardent Plymouth Argyle supporter,” said Tyler.