2018 Review


Friday, 13th July and we had our first rain for over a month. Junior training was cancelled.

World Cup fever comes to Newdigate Cricket Club. Good to see Penners in his waistcoat a la Gareth Southgate.

Looks like we lost!

Leading second eleven batsman, Dave Wrightson, has broken a finger. (or is it is arm?) He came back to the club looking for sympathy.

Our under 11 girls are playing in the Surrey ‘Smash-It’ League and the refreshments are amazing!


Congratulations to Will Bowley who is the first player in the club since 2014 to take seven wickets in an innings. He took 7-47 against Nuthurst.


Charlie Major 95 no and Dave Arnold 99 no

On the 6th June a group of players and friends had lunch at the Alcock Room at the Oval and watched the Surrey versus Glamorgan match. Mike Cooper was remembered and his picture placed on an empty chair.

back row: John Callcut, Richard Thompson (Chairman of Surrey CCC), Dave Harrison, Richard Constance and Chris Hobbs.

front row: Chris Cooksey, Jim Good, Dave Freeman, NickCrawford, Bruce Elliot (Chairman of Sutton United FC), Mick Radburn.

On the pitch between innings.


On the 29th May the club undertook the melancholy duty to elect a new Chairman.  James Penfold was duly elected and Roger Beale was voted in as Vice Chairman. It is encumbent upon all members to give them their total support.

On the 22nd May the Brocus was once again full. We hosted the Dorking  Schools’ Kwik Cricket Competition for Girls and it was great to see so many motivated and happy young people playing cricket. North  Downs just pipped Surrey Hills for the championship on run-rate .

After the heartbreak of last week it was good to see the club thronging with happy people who came to the club to celebrate the Royal Wedding and watch the Cup Final – shame the cricket on the field didn’t quite match the occasion. Oh well! Thanks to everyone who put in so much work to make the pavilion look so attractive and for providing the barbecue and the wonderful cakes. A memorable day.

The chapel was overflowing as people from many walks of life came to say goodbye to Mike Cooper.  As expected the club was well represented and there were many ex-players present from his former club, Carshalton Cricket Club.  Especially well done to Suzie Cooper who stoically read the moving tribute to Mike.

A Cricketer’s Last Boundary

Weeping willows formed an honour guard for the cricket ball writ with a noble name. A team of ten, which had once been eleven would never be the same again.

No bails united the forlorn stumps since the wicket had fallen some days ago and as the bowler delivered to the lone batsman the hushed crowd willed a six to go.

The magical sound … leather on willow, the sweet smell … of freshly cut grass. The cricketer … crossing the last boundary to a third innings that would last forever. (by Michael Ashby)

Goodbye Coops  (and sorry I messed up the poem ! – JC)

Despite the rain a packed crowd came to the club for a quiz brilliantly run by James Penfold and his ‘assistant’ Matt Dedes. It was great to see the Bennetts, Wylies, Osbornes and Millers at the club again…. and the winners , the team with a photographic memory, led by Mike Deloford and Paul Hughes!

Rains came on cue at midday to wreck the cricket for Saturday, 12th May but not before under 17 Adam Moon and u13 Scott Bloomfield came to the rescue of the 2nd XI who managed to get in half a game at Frimley.  Adam hit a quick fire 83 but Scott was defiant as they put on a partnership of 85.

We have entered the inaugural Surrey Slam 20/20 Competition. Our team is called the Newdigate Bobcats and will be managed by Pierre Tartari who can be contacted on 0306 887235.

This exciting competition has been taken up by 64 teams from around Surrey and we are drawn against local teams so there will be very little traveling. We will be wearing the green shirts and trousers sponsored by Newdigate’s very own Bob’s Shop. For more information go to www.surreyslam.com.

Our application to the ECB Small Grants Scheme has been approved and the result ……. artificial grass on our balcony which replaced the old carpet.

A bank holiday with beautiful weather and at last the season is well and truly underway. The 1st XI had an emphatic win against Whiteley Village and the 2nd XI lost to a strong London Gymkhana team. The Sunday XI chased down a formidable target of 248 set by The Bushmen. Congratulations to Matt Dedes who scored 151 and Dan Jones who scored 69. Their partnership of 241 broke a number of club records. It was the third highest recorded and Matt’s score was the 7th highest score in the club’s history. It was the highest 2nd wicket partnership overtaking the previous record of 226 set by Richard Callcut and Peter Freeman in 1997.

On the 3rd May John Callcut took part in ‘On the Front Foot’ at Susy Radio. The radio station is a great supporter of cricket and broadcasts all the local results. You can hear the interview at the following link and the Newdigate bit starts at 48 minutes.



What a difference a couple of days make. On the 2nd May it was wet all day. Two days later we hosted the Dorking Schools’ Kwik Cricket competition. It was won by a very impressive team from St. Paul’s Primary School. The runner’s up position was very close and the Weald, Surrey Hills and Surrey Downs all had identical number of points and only total runs separated the schools with Surrey Downs just pipping the others. St. Pauls now play the winners of Leatherhead Schools and the winner plays in the County finals at Epsom College.

OBITUARY – MIKE COOPER (06.12.1945 – 23.04.2018)

by John Callcut

Many of you will have heard that our Chairman, Mike Cooper, sadly passed away on St. George’s Day.

Mike grew up in Cheam. We were cousins and we lived just five houses from each other. My mother was seriously ill when I was a boy, so for long periods of time  Mike’s mother fed me and took me to school. So we grew up together as brothers spending endless hours playing football, cricket and table tennis in the garden.

Mike went to Glyn Grammar School in Epsom where he excelled at sports. He played basketball and swam for the county. He was something of a chess prodigy and at a young age he would take on ten or so opponents at exhibitions and beat most of them! He was a bustling centre forward, a very consistent golfer, hitting long and straight, but it was cricket that captured his heart. Under the tutelage of Wally Callcut at Cheam Village Warriors he became a forceful, hard-hitting top order batsman and a very good off-spinner. He turned the ball a long way but had the ability to bowl an impossible to pick arm ball. I know because I was later to become the unfortunate wicket-keeper.

He scored his first adult century at the age of sixteen and many more were to follow as he consistently finished each season at or near the top of both the batting and bowling averages for Carshalton Cricket Club. In 1976 he skippered the 1st XI to the Slazenger League and Cup double. Four years later he received the ultimate accolade for an amateur cricketer at the time and was selected for the Club Cricket Conference to play against Surrey at the Oval. I can picture him now hitting Intikhab Alam for two sumptuous cover drives! The move to the Fuller’s League saw the club gain immediate promotion to the top division. He later became Chairman of both Carshalton and the Slazenger League.

Mike originally trained as an accountant but then entered the commercial world and held senior financial positions with Hussmans, one of the country’s leading refrigeration companies. Upon retirement he took on the role of managing director of Horton Park Golf Club which he loved.

His later playing years were at Newdigate and I can recall many happy afternoons with Bill Turner as wicket-keeper, Mike at first slip and myself at second slip directing all the youngsters to do the chasing!

Mike retired from playing in 2003 (the above picture shows him leaving the field of play for the last time)  and he could later be seen, along with Norma, supporting Newdigate and watching his son Allan lead the 1st XI to great successes.

I think that it is true to say that the spark went out of his life when Norma died on the 19th June 2017 but he took on the role of Chairman with much enthusiasm. He chaired just the one meeting in January and later carefully went through the Five Year Plan adding his own ideas and was very sorry to miss the Club Cricket Conference at the Oval in March due to ill health. He loved following the cricketing progress of young Oliver in Australia (being coached by none other than Michael Slater) and Sam doing well at Wimbledon Cricket Club. The fifth generation of cricketers in the family!

Sadly his health quickly declined and he spent his last days in a beautiful care home in Thames Ditton surrounded by his devoted family. Even the day before he died he wanted to know how his beloved Spurs fared and how we got on against Leigh. A small smile spread on his face when I was able to tell him of an exciting victory.

Our sympathies go to Helen, Deborah, Angela, Suzie and Allan and I say a heavy goodbye to my ‘identical twin cousin’ …as he used to love calling me.

‘All Stars’ Cricket comes to Newdigate.  Monjur has put up the banner to tell the world…. spread the news.

On the 18th April, Annette, Roger and John did an All Stars Presentation at Newdigate Infants School.

After the wettest spring in memory it is good to see the outfield looking good. Here is Monjur on the mower.

Players get in to training for the new season!

We were pleasantly surprised to see nearly fifty juniors turn up for the first coaching session on the 13th April. The weather was cold and overcast but a good time was had by all…. and the bar was full!

Our hopes and prayers are with our chairman, Mike Cooper,  and all his family. He is lying grievously ill in St. George’s Hospital, Tooting.


Saturday the 24th March was the day selected to get the club ready for the season under the NatWest Cricket Force banner. Here are a group of the helpers.


Good news – the sun has come out and it’s much warmer. More good news – our application for funding with the ECB Small Grants Scheme has been successful. We will be having artificial grass laid on the balcony to replace the tatty carpet.

Who’s for cricket ???? ………. One month to go.

If Matt is looking at this from sunny Sydney, don’t worry.  We were cutting the grass two days ago in bright sunshine!

(Newdigate Cricket Club – 18th March at 10.30 am)

Each year the Surrey Cricket Foundation hosts a Club Cricket Conference at the Oval for the benefit of cricket clubs throughout the county. There are many trade stands and a series of workshops covering a variety of topics such as retention of players, funding, GDPR, new playing initiatives etc. etc. Such is the reputation of the conference that two delegates came up from Cornwall, despite the poor weather, especially to attend! It is a great opportunity for networking and the club was represented by Pierre Tartari and John Callcut. The Chairman was scheduled to attend but he had a hospital appointment that couldn’t be missed.

Snow swirls across the Oval (above) – some trade stands (below). Our friend Alex Slatter from Notts Sports is on the left talking to Chris Whitaker (Chief funding officer of the ECB) and our specialist insurance broker, Colin Mico is on the right.

For the 2018 season we welcome Matt Dedes as our overseas player. Matt is currently playing for Bankstown Cricket Cub in the Sydney grade league, a top order batsman who can equally turn his arm over as a spin bowler. Matt will be arriving around the 25th April.

We are so indebted to the Haigh family who provide funds for the Russell Haigh Bursary. Here are the recipients at the Surrey Cricket Centre with their coaches.



A Chance to Shine seminar was held at the Surrey Cricket Centre on the 27th February. Despite the bad weather about twenty clubs from the county were represented. Since its inception over three million young boys and girls have experienced cricket nationwide.  Last year in Surrey 120 schools participated and 23696 children attended the sessions. We will be  holding our own sessions at Newdigate Infants School, North Downs, Surrey Hills and St. Martin’s Primary Schools.

Vice President, Nick Crawford, has introduced a periodic Jazz Sunday and Constantin Mitran provides fine dining. Nick set this up as a thank you to all those people who supported him and the band when they were regulars at the Six Bells.

The picture taken from the balcony shows a fine winter’s day just before the onset of snow.

Our funding application to the ECB Small Grants Scheme has been submitted. We are hoping to carpet the balcony with artificial grass. The fund has been over-subscibed so we must keep our fingers crossed.

A First Aid Course was held at the club on the 7th February which was attended by six club members.


The Annual General Meeting was held at the club on Sunday, 7th January.

It was a real case of the ‘changing of the guard’ with four key members standing down and making way for fresh blood.

Roger Bailey (Chairman), Andy Wood (Secretary), Steve Jones (Treasurer) and John Callcut (Junior Co-Ordinator) had put in over 50 years of service between them. The club owes them a debt of gratitude.

Taking their places will be Mike Cooper, Jon Pritchard, Steve Kehl and Andrew Mayne. We wish them the best of luck in their future roles.

All other committee posts can be seen in the ‘Who’s Who’ section.