On the day Gloucestershire’s unsung heroes head to Lord’s for 2017 NatWest OSCAs ceremony we profile the final three of this year’s winners…
John Gurney – Lifetime Achiever
A member/player at Dymock Cricket Club for more than 50 years, John has dedicated countless hours to maintain and developing the club’s facilities.
As well as preparing wickets, John also repairs machines. His dedication is such that the club’s roller, lovingly restored by John, is named after him.
John has also put up a machinery shed, built the old pavilion in the 1970s and was very supportive of the club’s new pavilion – built in 2016.
He chaired the league association committee for many years and has raised thousands of pounds for Dymock through grants and organising events. These include the annual Dymock Half Marathon has raised over £20, 000 in the last 10 years.
Nominating him, Dymock chairman Martin Fowke said: “John supports our thriving youth section, preparing wickets for four junior teams and enjoys watching cricket on his square. He is encouraging and enthusiastic about current and future players, and always has time for other club members.”
Richard Deane – Get The Game On
As captain of the lowest team at Chipping Sodbury for the past seventeen years Richard Deane makes sure he “gets the game on” regardless inevitable last minute availability changes that come with running five senior teams.
With a “black book” of contacts Richard ensures a team always takes the field while always ensuring a safe environment for young players to take their first steps in adult cricket.
Over the years he has provided a pathway for players to develop and onto higher levels of cricket within the club while still being involved in successful league-winning teams.
Richard is a master at ensuring his team has enough drivers and people that can umpire and score while still ensuring everyone gets a meaningful game of cricket. He has also done much to promote gender diversity, giving women cricketers the opportunity to play on a regular basis.
Andy Shield from Chipping Sodbury said: “Richard plays the game in the right spirit and sets a good example for others to follow. He ensures that all members of the team have the opportunity to be involved in the game and have an enjoyable experience.
“Richard is a highly respected and much valued club stalwart and thoroughly deserves to be recognised.”
Chris Strong – Leagues and Boards
Chris has served the Bristol District Cricket Association (BDCA) for more than 25 years.
Over that time he has performed a wide range of roles including being a member of the management committee, chairing the senior section clubs and organizing the annual presentation evening. He has also chaired the disciplinary committee for over a decade, managed the BDCA representative team and helped with the administration of the T20 cup competition.
BDCA chairman Trevor Crouch said: “Chris is the ‘glue’ in the B&D who performs many of the vital tasks which enable the organisation to function well. He has established positive contacts with all clubs and leads the league through its disciplinary issues with understanding and consistency.
“His various roles mean that ‘Strongy’ is well known at the majority of our clubs and has the respect of each new generation pf players with his enthusiasm, knowledge and banter.His is a voice of realism in committee meetings and, even if he disagrees -which is not unknown! – he unfailingly supports the majority decision.
“The B&D would need to recruit about five people to replace him which, hopefully, is not imminent!”