Well in an attempt to get ahead of the game I’m sat in my office writing this message at the end of the heatwave, ironically it’s Saturday afternoon and all games have been cancelled due to horrendous rain! Quite how we can go from one extreme to the other completely baffles me and it’s a frustrating Saturday afternoon with no cricket. It’s so frustrating for everybody – you’ve got 44 players across the sides who’ve sweltered all week waiting for their game, you’ve got all the guys who’ve worked hard behind the scenes to get the pitches ready, and then our loyal supporters who look forward to their Saturday afternoon’s entertainment. That’s it – I’m off to start designing a retractable roof for the ground!!!
Anyway, that’s my moan out of the way and onto more positive matters…
July has seen an unbelievably busy month at the club as we’ve had Ladies Day, Presidents Day, visitors from Cheshire CCC, a charity cricket match and a visit from the Mayor. Just when I think it’ll be a nice quiet weekend we then have the Past Players lunch coming up this coming Saturday as well!!
Firstly Ladies Day, what a great day that was and wonderful to see so many of the Upton Ladies out in force enjoying their afternoon. These types of afternoons are really important as we make the club truly inclusive and welcoming and my thanks go to Marie Sharrock and her superb team who put this day on. I know plans are already afoot for next years event which I hope will be even bigger than this years. Once the fixtures are announced a date will be set and we’ll get that published.
Following that we had a healthy attendance at the Presidents Day VIP lunch for the 1901 Club members. When we reignited the 1901 Club (formerly the “100 Club”) I recall a meeting we had where we were concerned as to the uptake given the increased monthly fee but I am delighted to have been proved wrong (it does happen every now and again!!) and I take my hat off to John Scragg for his phenomenal organising and marketing of the ‘club’. The lunch was followed by a great game of cricket between Phil Woods Sunday 1st XI and the President’s XI which I was privileged to play in. I had the honour of being handed the new ball by the President and opened the bowling. Now not being famed for my bowling, or my cricketing ability to be fair, I thought it a little harsh when I was promptly taken off after just one over. I think it’s time to remind the President that I chair the committee that can replace him when his term in office is up for expiry!
Last month we benefited from the Wirral Together Fund which saw us awarded a grant to purchase 16 new benches to increase our seating capacity and offer better facilities for our spectators. You may well have spotted some of them that have been erected on the decking area with more to follow around the ground. On the back of this I had the privilege of welcoming the Mayor of Wirral to the Club last Friday where he was able to not only see the benches but witness first-hand the tremendous coaching our juniors received. Also on the same night we got the opportunity to host a charity cricket match with Our Lady of Pity school who were raising money for a little girl to have an operation in America. Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves and it was great to open our doors and welcome them along.
Touching back on the weather, and in particular the absolutely rubbish weather we have endured at times it’s very rewarding to see that we have been able to get our junior training on where other clubs haven’t. This isn’t a criticism of other clubs, but merely recognition for the hard work and investment we have put in on the grounds to enable to the water to drain so well and that coupled with sheer determination have meant we have been able to continue with our Friday nights.
So, looking ahead, this Saturday we have our ‘Past Players’ lunch and it’s been a bit of a disappointing turn out this year. Following that I have the prospect of heading out to Egypt on Sunday so I’ll be following the next couple of matches from my sun lounger in 40 degree heat!
Let’s have a brilliant August and finish the season in style.