Club History 9 of 10

9. Life Members

Life Members

The following paragraphs give a brief outline of all members honoured with Life Membership. It details their achievements and dedication to Ashford Cricket Club. Without these Members, Ashford Cricket Club would not exist as it does today and their support and lifelong work for the Club is greatly appreciated. Thank you.

W Allingham - elected 1912
W Allingham was one of the Club's finest wicketkeepers and sportsmen who had ever donned the gloves.

H Webb - elected 1933
Harry Webb was a member of the Club for 38 years during which time he had held office for 33 of those years. He had served the club in practically every capacity - playing, honorary and executive and he well deserved the honour of being the second life member of Ashford Cricket Club.
He had been both the Club Captain and Club Treasurer in his time and it was a sad day when he decided to resign in 1933.

F J Kendall - elected 1933
"Sammy" Kendall was first groundsman during the period when the Club was playing at Cook's field but he was no longer able to maintain the ground following a serious accident at the end of the 1933 season.
He was a fine example of the spirit of the Club.

H Holland - elected 1934
Harry Holland, known as "Granfer", was probably connected with the Club longer than anyone else during which time he considerably assisted the Club in various ways.

H E Judd - elected 1935
Mr H E Judd was proposed by Mr Hatcher as a life member. He was Club Captain from 1922 for 13 years. Mr Hatcher commented that Mr Judd had done so much for the Club.

J F Pott - elected 1935
John Francis Pott, an estate agent by profession, was a left handed batsman. His character and disposition were the envy of all and his kindness to children was most noticeable.
He was a great sportsman (a member of every club under the organisation of the Sports Club) who always played the game.

G Hatcher JP - elected 1938
He first played for Ashford as a City of London schoolboy in 1896 on a ground in Parkland Grove adjoining the Parish Church. From that time, his association with the club was unbroken until his death in 1954. He was first elected President in 1926 and held that office upon his death. He was actively engaged in the Centenary arrangements to the very last and it was a cruel blow that he should have been called "one run short". He believed in club spirit and often expounded the virtues of teamwork on and off the field. In the 1951 Festival Year handbook he wrote:-
"No one man could have achieved the success that has been attended our club, and I am very happy in the thought that as one drops out there has always been another to continue the good work. Long may the Ashford Cricket Club flourish."
He also often claimed that no man was indispensable, and of course he was right. Nevertheless at the AGM in November 1954, the members unanimously decided that no-one should take his place during the great season for which he had worked so hard, such was the club's respect and affection for a very grand gentleman.

W H Lowe - elected 1938
Played between 1920 and 1935. He was a 2nd XI Captain, Hon. He was a very efficient secretary for 5 years and as such was primarily responsible for the protective netting at the south end of the ground.

H W Hall - elected 1940
H W Hall had acted as scorer for the Club for 20 years. The Hall Memorial Cup presented each year for playing performance within the Club was presented in memory of Mr Hall.

H Spurr - elected 1941

A B Holland - elected 1942
A B Holland was far better known to all as "Gov'nor" and he had cricket in his blood. He had been interested in the game ever since he was a lad and was an authority on all the finer points.
He succeeded his uncle, "Grandpa" Holland, as umpire, when owing to illness he was unable to officiate further. He continued to stand for some 20 years and he was a very efficient umpire. He did so much so quietly and was one of the Club's best loved members. He supported every money raising venture with remarkable success, in one particular year raising £150.
After 28 years association and at 80 years of age, he still insisted in taking the collection box round.

A W Johnson - elected 1944
Arthur Wellesley Johnson was still playing after 47 years and was once a great bowler. He was Captain of and an inspiration to the Wednesday XI in the years before the 2nd World War. He was Hon. Match Secretary and as such he was responsible for the "Club History" first produced in the 1955 centenary handbook. He gave almost a lifetime of service including an exceptional playing ability.
He continued to play cricket until the age of 61 when but for a disability, he would have continued to play longer. When his playing career ended, he continued to umpire for the 3rd XI.
He first joined the Club at the age of 15 and was playing for the 2nd XI when he was 16. He first played for the 1st XI in 1911 as a wicketkeeper. He was top of the 1st XI batting averages in 1913 and again, 26 years later, in 1939. He claimed to be a bowler rather than a batsman and he took over 100 wickets a season on a number of occasions but he also scored runs freely and even scored 79 against Spelthorne a fortnight before his 59th birthday.
Arthur Johnson was in the Army from 1914 - 1919 with a long period of service in France. There were lighter moments on the Western Front and he took part in a cricket match in France along with other Ashford members, Harry Hurrell and W H Avis.

W C Neave - elected 1944
T Lee - elected 1945
C T W Caffyn - elected 1946
C W Butler - elected 1948
A founder member of the Ashford Athletic Association, the forerunner of the Ashford Sports Club Ltd., whose foresight ensured the excellent central ground for sport in Woodthorpe Road, Ashford. He was president of Ashford Tennis Club for over 20 years.

A E Wilson - elected 1948
A J Holland - elected 1950
Jimmy Holland was a player for over 25 years who was renowned for fielding at cover point. He was Captain and Hon. Treasurer for 12 years, interrupted by war service during which he was "Mentioned in Dispatches." In his day he was a great clubman.

C T Hanbury - elected 1953
One of the old school whose playing days dated back to 1904 when he was a wily old bowler and Captain of the Wednesday XI. He was probably the oldest supporter in 1995 and he was certainly a very keen critic. He used to sit in the pavilion alcove every day to watch the matches and wobetide any man who dropped a catch.

R H Thornhill - elected 1954
"Twink" Thornhill had great strength of character on and off the field. He serve the Club for many years since he was a lad and he was Club Captain for 15 years. He first played under his father in 1918, travelling to Shepperton by hansom. He was a great batsman (best average of 43.18 in 1932) and he was the inspiration behind the Devon tour. He understood the traditions and loved the game of cricket generally and Ashford Cricket Club in particular.

D L Hudson - elected 1955
Doug Hudson had been a member for 30 years when he was elected a life member and for approximately 60 years in total. He was Secretary for 11 years and subsequently Chairman for 6 years. He was always prepared to do that "extra work" that made him such a valuable secretary.

R S Garland - elected 1957
Reg Garland joined the Club in 1934. He was a great sportsman and all players enjoyed playing with him. He combined magnificent cricketing ability (he was probably one of the finest slow bowlers the Club has ever had) with unsurpassed sportsmanship and clubmanship. He was also a very fine batsman who made several "tons" in his career. In 1934 he took 174 wickets, a record that still stands and is unlikely to be beaten. During the same season he took all ten wickets in a match against Walton, the only known Ashford player to complete this feat.
He continued to play until the age of 43 when he volunteered to join the RAF where he continued to display his outstanding physical fitness by continually beating all his considerably younger fellow trainees at distance running.
In his later years, his health failed him badly and although barely able to walk unaided, and only partially sighted, he continued to be a loyal supporter of the Club.

R G Hatcher - elected 1959

Before the war Roland was a great sportsman but during his service regrettably contracted a serious illness. With the help of his strong character he threw this illness off and being unable to continue playing, he adopted the Club. He was Treasurer for 31 years from 1951 until his death in 1982. Although very young when elected a life member, he was a good servant and it was not considered too early for one who had dedicated himself to the Club.

R W Gray - elected 1960
Dick Gray was a member of long standing. During his life a Ashford he had proved himself a first class cricketer and a keen committee member. His catering ability was apparent to all and he earned enormous praise from every club that visited us.

G H Richardson - elected 1960
Gordon Richardson was a member since 1925 and early in his career he played regularly for the 2nd XI He was elected to the general committee in 1926 and in 1945 became the Clubs press representative a position which he held until his death in 1976. He was a very keen club man and always had the interests of the club at heart.

A J Rudd - elected 1962
Arthur was a member of the Club since about 1937. A large proportion of his membership was spent in an active capacity either as a committee member or in one of the many club functions. His playing prowess included the unique achievement of scoring a century for each of the 3 elevens run by the Club (a feat since matched).

A E Rudd - elected 1964
Albert gave the Club long and varied service from 1932 onwards. He served as a member of the committee for over 20 years.

E J Sutton - elected 1966
Ted was a great cricketer and a tremendous character who had served the Club since 1936 including 10 years as Match Secretary, 5 years as Secretary and 6 years as the Club's representative to The Ashford Sports Club Ltd. He set a wonderful example to all cricketers with his continuity of service and continued work for the benefit of the Club. In his later years he took up umpiring and stood regularly for the 1st XI during the their early years in the Surrey Championship.

A W Whale - elected 1972
Bill Whale gave considerable service to the Club. He joined just after the war and has played both 1st and 2nd team cricket, skippering the 2nd XI for 7-8 years. Besides looking after the ground, he also ran cricket week for many years and also found time to coach the colts.

S J Dye - elected 1973
Sid gave considerable service to the Club since he first joined. He played for many years in the 1st XI but would be most remembered for his work as Chairman of the Cricket Club and also as Chairman of the Board of Directors of Ashford Sports Club Ltd.

J D Ritchie - elected 1980
Duncan Ritchie led the Club in probably the most successful period since the war. He served on the Committee, was Club Captain and subsequently Chairman. In later years, he took on the Captaincy of the 3rd XI and was involved in numerous ground enquiries regarding a possible 3rd XI ground.

C D Staples - elected 1980

Colin Staples was a regular member of the 1st XI for many years. He served on the Committee for 20 years and he was Secretary of the Ashford Sports Club Ltd. for some years. He organised many fund-raising activities, namely the Derby Sweep, Havago and the 200 Club. His efforts alone raised over £5000 for club funds. In addition, he organised the Groundsman's Benefit for 5 years.

M H Thornhill - elected 1980

Mickey Thornhill was Chairman of the Ground Committee for a number of years and did a great deal of the work himself, both wicket and surrounds. A Committee member for over 20 consecutive years during which time he was Club Captain, ASC Representative, 1st XI Vice Captain, 2nd XI Captain and Chairman. He was a regular member of the 1st XI for many years and he was well renowned for his great powers of concentration.

W T Slaughter - elected 1982
D F Cornwell - elected 1987
K J Paice - elected 1988
R C A Cooksey - elected 1990
Ron Cooksey was elected a life member for his tremendous effort and workload he had carried out for the Club.

W Lynskey - elected 1990
Bill Lynskey has been a playing member for nearly 30 years. During his membership he has served the Club as player, captain and committee member. He was elected a life member for the work and great effort he had put in over the years for both the Club and the Sports Club.

P A Ash - elected 1991
Peter Ash became a Colt in 1953 and a full playing member in 1957. He followed in his father's footsteps who had also been a playing member, while his mother had been a scorer. He retired at the end of the 1991 season after 38 years as a playing member. He held various positions in the Club including Hon. Secretary and 2nd XI vice captain. He played regularly on both Saturdays and Sundays and he was always prepared to umpire when required, collect the money and contribute to the beer kitty even though he was a teetotaller.

A Collier - elected 1993
J Walter - elected 1993
C J S Evans - elected 1994
Chris Evans became a Colt in 1965 and a full playing member in 1976 following his return from university. He played regularly for the 1st XI scoring over 1000 runs every season and on some occasions over 2000. He served on the committee in many positions including Fixture Secretary, 1st XI Captain and Chairman as well as sitting on the Sports Club’s Board of Directors. He had worked tirelessly for the Club both on and off the field over the last 20 years.

D G Beckett - elected 1997

J Bird - elected 1999

J A Hartwell - elected 2003

P Smith - elected 2003

M Davies - elected 2004

R J E Evans - elected 2008

S P Smith - elected 2009

S Butt - elected 2010

P C Davies - elected 2010

R H Ford - elected 2010

T Allen - elected 2013

N Smith - elected 2014