Past and present come together for Findon Cricket Club celebration

Past and present players take to the field for the anniversary celebration match. Picture by Stephen Goodger
Past and present players take to the field for the anniversary celebration match. Picture by Stephen Goodger

Findon Cricket Club celebrated its 150th anniversary with a reunion of current and former players at their Long Furlong home yesterday.

Guest of honour was 94-year-old former Findon President Johnny Spiers, a lifelong club member.

Action from the celebration 20-over match, which was eventually beaten by the weather. Picture by Stephen Goodger

Action from the celebration 20-over match, which was eventually beaten by the weather. Picture by Stephen Goodger

Other notable guests included ex-England fast bowler Jon Snow, as well as current Test umpire Ian Gould.

A 20-over match was scheduled to take place but bad weather meant that was forced to be abandoned.

Friends of Findon XI managed to reach 141-6 from their 20 overs against Findon’s current first-team.

Former Findon skipper James Iago top-scored with 38 not out, while current Chippingdale captain Josh Bourne struck 30.

Peter Graves (left), Findon President Alan Harris (centre) and former England and Sussex cricketer Jon Snow (right)

Peter Graves (left), Findon President Alan Harris (centre) and former England and Sussex cricketer Jon Snow (right)

Findon’s pursuit of 142 would never get going, though, as heavy rain came to wash things out.

Despite the wet weather bringing the anniversary game to an early conclusion, event organiser Toby Kingsbury was pleased to see so many faces in attendance.

He said: “More than 200 existing and former club members, along with many friends of the club, joined us for lunch followed by a cricket match, which was unfortunately washed out.

“Despite rain stopping play, we had a fantastic day with many old friends, some of whom had travelled from USA, Switzerland, Spain and France.

Faces past and present were in attendance at yesterday's 150th anniversary celebrations. Picture by Stephen Goodger

Faces past and present were in attendance at yesterday's 150th anniversary celebrations. Picture by Stephen Goodger

“To have so many people associated with the club together at the same time was very special.

“I think everyone, including some who played for Findon before the World War Two, had the opportunity to share some fond memories during the day.”

True to Findon’s horse racing heritage, the village club changed their badge back in 1981 when Aldiniti, trained by then Findon player Josh Gifford, won the Grand National.

Fellow organiser Jason Nicholls was equally impressed with how the celebrations went and said: “We decided all those returning to the club would leave with a horseshoe from the local racing stables with a good luck message from the club.

“Hopefully this little piece of Findon would go with them wherever they now live and bring them special memories of our small village cricket club in the heart of the South Downs.”

A week previous, Findon’s current squad dressed as Victorians, just as the club founders did way back in the 19th century.

The current team used bats borrowed from the local Sussex Cricket Museum to recreate the scene.