|Joe Watson’s last match at Navestock, 1979. Continue reading “The Seventies”|
|The Early Eighties : The Bath Tours…|
|Andy Dobie, Andy Thurogood, Jon Capel, Brad Walker & Phil Wolff outside the Wheatsheaf, 1986. Continue reading “The Eighties”|
|RCC First XI 1994 : Willie Leadbeater, Paul Dudmish, Richard Sabatini, Jim Repper, Ian Newman, John Wright, Charlotte Rose, Phil Stoney, Tony Catling, Rich Dawbarn, Matt Barnes Continue reading “The Nineties”|
Thanks to Mrs A Graham
The Fifties : Rayleigh CC vs Essex
Peter McQuibban, the father of one of our colts, Jack McQuibban, had an old school scorebook from 1955 and in the middle was a record of a match between Rayleigh Cricket Club and an Essex XI on 24th September 1955 in which Peter’s father played. Rayleigh lost, but put up a good show against the county side. Slightly more information, and a clearer scorecard, can be found at cricketarchive.com
My earliest memories of Rayleigh Cricket Club are from the mid 1930s when as small boys my younger brother and I spent so many Saturday afternoons on Websters Meadow, now King George V Playing Field, mostly watching the 2nd eleven playing. Our father was captain and wicketkeeper whilst our mother and grandmother provided the teas. In those days Websters Meadow was part of a series of fields surrounded by hedges, and apart from the field used for cricket, were used for grazing cattle and sheep (and Noah Webster’s (Jack’s father) horse). The annual visiting Fair also used the Meadow. The Webster family owned two butchers shops in the High Street one under the name of Webster and the other Wood. The Webster shop was included as part of their large house nearly opposite Bellingham Lane. Behind the house standing well back were their stables, cowsheds etc and slaughterhouse. The meadows lay behind that. My family lived two doors away and our garden was bounded on two sides by the meadows. The one way road system now runs through what was our garden. The Webster family had supported the cricket club from its early days and Jack was later to become arguably the finest batsman ever to play for the club.
Continue reading “Thinking Back – Rayleigh Cricket Club – 1930s to 1960s”
As I prepare to finish my playing career with Rayleigh, I look back on my time at the club and share my perspective on my playing days here. There are players that have been here longer than me and they will probably be able to write a more complete history of the club or could tell the story from a First XI point of view, but after having played 20 seasons at Rayleigh, I’ve been here through what could be seen as a special era for the club.
Sadly our Life President, John Monk, died on Monday 14 October 2002 and was buried at Rochford on 24 October. John had three loves in life, his family, his work and his cricket. John played cricket for Rayleigh Cricket Club for 67 years which is a remarkable achievement by any standards and he was our President for the last 16 years.
He played for the first XI from 1934 to 1954 apart from his absence during the war. He was a demon fast bowler in his youth and took 10 wickets in one game early in his career and also scored several centuries. This at a time when the club was playing against the leading club sides in Essex but the details of these exploits are lost in the mists of time.
From 1955 he played for the Second XI for 39 years including 16 years as captain. During the later years many of our current senior players joined the club as 16 and 17 year olds and played under John’s captaincy and remember fondly his ‘one in, one out’ field placing theory. Despite the fact that he was at least 40 years older than most of the rest of the team he was as fit and more energetic than most of his young charges. Many of these players have said how much they enjoyed playing their cricket with John. It is a tribute to his leadership that so many of these players are still playing at the club.
Journeys to away games could be quite disconcerting as John always drove and on the way he would regularly point out houses where people lived he had played against years ago often taking his eyes off the road for quite some time whilst he talked animatedly about some past game against the occupant of the house. This could be quite hair raising particularly on the Z bends on the old road to Burnham but they always got there safely. John also did a lot of work on pitch preparation and he was sometimes to be seen working on the pitch in the pouring rain.
Just as he was reaching the twilight of his career we started a third and then a fourth and even briefly a fifth team and on each occasion John would say how glad he was we’d started another team for him to play in. Even though he was in his late seventies and early eighties he would still bat well and score at least one fifty every year. He also held some excellent catches in the slips.
As President of the Club he captained his side in the annual match against the Club XI, picked the strongest side possible and he said “I know its only a friendly but I intend to win” and he usually did! That was how he played his cricket hard but always fair.
He was also a keen golfer and achieved a hole in one at Hanover Golf Club in 1999 when he was 81.
John was a talented sportsman but there was more. On the occasion of his 60th anniversary game he wrote in the match programme that nobody had enjoyed their cricket more and quoted from an American writer, Woodward.
” When the one great scorer comes to write against your name He will not write how you won or lost, but how you played the game.”
Those words are so apposite to John. He played to win but on and off the field he was a gentlemen well respected by his own players and the opposition alike. He was a happy, friendly and generous man who had friends in many clubs throughout Essex. He loved to see young players doing well and always encouraged them to improve. He openly acknowledged the support given to him by his family during his playing days and he and all his family supported our social functions for many years. He was so excited about the prospect of our new ground but sadly he will not see it come to fruition.
John, you have left us with very many happy memories. You will be remembered for how you played the game with enthusiasm, sportmanship and friendship.
The Sixties : RCC Annual Dinner & Dances
RCC Annual Dinner programmes from 1960-1964, 1968-1969
Teams from the 60s
The First Rayleigh Tour – Ireland 1969
Tour Report from 1969
The Rayleigh Nondescripts touring party returned home recently having spent a most enjoyable four days in Ireland. In between matches against Northern Ireland C.C, and Queens’s University, the party paid a visit on an ex-resident of Rayleigh and a great favourite with all Southend United supporters, ex-skipper Sam McCrory. Sam and his wife have a delightful public house, the Port-O-Call, at Donaghadee, a charming little coastal resort just a few miles from Bangor. For anyone visiting the Port-O-Call the draught Guinness is highly recommended by sixteen Rayleigh cricketers.
The opening game against Northern Ireland Cricket Club proved, as expected, to be a strong fixture. On winning the toss Rayleigh elected to bat and found runs difficult to come by against an accurate attack supported by some first class fielding. Thanks to good knocks by skipper Bob Pinkerton and Ray Pilkington the score reached 107 all-out.
In reply the home team lost an early wicket and in turn found runs hard to get against the bowling of McCormick, Davill and Pinkerton. After a cautious second wicket stand which added some 30 runs, the Rayleigh bowlers were rewarded for their efforts with three quick wickets. However, with the Northern Ireland score at 47 for 4 wickets, rain ended what promised to be an interesting finish.
The second fixture was played in the beautiful grounds of Queen’s University situated just a few miles from the centre of Belfast to make the occasion as enjoyable an possible the day was warm and sunny. Once again Bob Pinkerton won the toss and Rayleigh batted first. After a somewhat slow start against medium paced bowling, the batsmen began to push the score along thanks to John Dowling and Albert Coker. By the tea interval Rayleigh were all-out with 126 on the board of which John Dowling had contributed a very welcome 50.
In reply the University batsmen went for the runs from the start of the innings, although they found it no easy taskagainst Thomas and McCormick. However, the persistence of the Rayleigh attack had its reward and with only 70 runs on the board the University were running out of both time and batsmen. At this stage Michael Davill, who had agreed to play for the home team as they were one short, came to the wicket. In a matter of two or three overs he completely changed the state of the game by scoring a quick 30 runs, However a brilliant catch by Robert Coker ended the onslaught which had particularly been directed against Ron Brewin and theremaining wickets fell quickly leaving Rayleigh the winners by 22 runs.
Thanks to Mrs Anne Graham & Gerald Barnes.
P Stoney (Capt.)