More than a 100 former and current members of Cae Glas Cricket Club crowded into the Memorial Hall on Saturday 11 November to celebrate its 70th Anniversary.

The Club, founded by a bunch of keen local cricketers in 1953, had a nomadic existence until a permanent home at Gatacre Playing Fields was finally found in 1976, where matches are still held to this day.

In his opening remarks to guests, Club Chairman and long playing member, Andy Griffiths who first represented the club as a teenager in 1973, welcomed former players – Club President, Mr Ian Taylor and his wife Helen, as well as guest speaker, Magnus Llewellin and Andy Lloyd who presented the trophies.  Ian had started his career with Cae Glas in 1972 Magnus in 1979 and Andy in 1973 before going on to play for Warwickshire and ultimately the England test side.

After a 3 course meal had been served, Magnus spoke fondly of his time playing for Cae Glas and of the fact that he had followed in the footsteps of his father, Phil Llewellin in playing for the club.  Magnus concluded his memorable speech with a tribute to the spirit of the club.   “Despite the passage of time and the trials and tribulations that are inevitable with the passing years, Cae Glas Cricket Club – and the true heroes that keep it going – has been a constant presence in our lives. So tonight let us celebrate those ties that bind, remember those who cannot be with us, salute the successes of the players who made their mark this season – and raise a glass”

This family tradition was amply demonstrated by the presence on one table of 5 members of 3 generations of the Morris family.  Mum, Sue had been one of the founding members of Cae Glas Ladies’ team back in 1977 when, fed up of husband, Murrel’s, frequent absences playing for the club, decided to get together with friend Kerry Shepherd to found the first women’s side in the county.  She was ultimately joined by daughter, Helen – who still plays for the Second XI – and granddaughter, Becca.  Son, Dave, had travelled from Nottingham where he now lives to complete the Morris contingent.

A recorded video greeting from other former female players, Meg Ballment and Sarah Gaskill was played to members from their home in Melbourne, Australia.  Meg was another of the club’s trail blazers when she became the first woman to captain a Shropshire League side in the 2006 and 2007 seasons in addition to leading the women’s and first Mid-week League teams.

A recurring theme throughout proceedings was the emphasis on Cae Glas as a family which has inspired long lasting friendships and an engrained sense of loyalty to the club.  Appropriately for Armistice Day, there was a 2 minute silence in tribute to former members who had passed away since the last commemorative dinner 10 years ago.  Among those remembered fondly were Mr and Mrs Peter and June Humphreys who, up to shortly before their deaths had served as Patrons and Club Presidents.  Members of their family who were present as guests of honour were moved to hear that the couple’s bequest to the Club is to be spent on the purchase of a new electronic scoreboard.

A long awaited climax of the evening was the presentation of trophies by former club player and England international, Andy Lloyd.  Among those receiving awards was veteran player, Andy Kemp, whose star achievement of amassing more than 11,000 runs in games for both the First and Second XIs was marked with the presentation of a certificate and 2 photo collages depicting him in batting action and posing in various team photos throughout the 5 decades of his playing career with the club.

New member, Robin Williamson, made his acceptance speech for 2nd XI Player of the year in a recorded video message filmed in Saudi Arabia where he is currently working.

Aside from the formal proceedings of the dinner, members mixed and mingled, enjoying rekindling old friendships and reminiscing past glories by perusing old scorebooks dating back to the early days of the club as well as photo albums brought in by members and guests.

Such was the success of the dinner that plans are already in hand to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the club in 2028!

List of presentations

1st XI Batter of the year          Ian Holgate

1st XI Bowler of the year        Alex Carter

1st XI Fielder of the year          Ian Holgate

1st XI Player of the year           Gary Davies

2nd XI Batter of the year          Robin WIlliamson

2nd XI Bowler of the year        Nick Broadbent

2nd XI Fielder of the year         Tim Smith

2nd XI Player of the year          Robin Williamson

Midweek Player of the year   Kev McDade

Cluman of the year                 Ian Moult

Club Player of the year           Shaun Southern

Other presentations:-

Andy Hughes – Hat trick

Ian Moult        – 1st league 50

Andy Kemp     – 11,000 + League runs

Nigel Evans      – Life Member

Andy Kemp – 11000 + league runs – presented by Andy Lloyd.

Gary Davies 1st XI Player of the year – presented by Andy Lloyd.

Ian Moult – 1st league 50 – presented by Andy Lloyd.

Ian Moult – Peter and June Humphreys Cup – Presented by Wendy Harper.

Magnus Llewellin guest speaker.

Nigel Evans – Life Member presentation.

Presented by Andy Lloyd – Tim Smith – 2nd XI Fielder of the year.

Presented by Andy Lloyd – Ian Holgate – 1st XI Batsman of the year.

Presented  by Andy Lloyd –  Kev McDade – midweek player of the year.”

Presented by Andy Lloyd – Nick Broadbent – 2nd XI Bowler of the year.

Presented by Andy Lloyd to Andy Hughes – hat trick.

Shaun Southern- Club Player of the year – Presented by Andy Lloyd.

Pictures credit: Martyn Ruscoe.