Please take a perusal at some of the fantastic moments and life stories for some, that Avoncroft Cricket Club means to these individuals.
"As a young cricket fanatic I was delighted when my parents moved to Bromsgrove in 1952, and right opposite our house was this little cricket ground. I spent many hours in my early teens waiting for a last minute call to play when the team was short-in fact I played a number of times as well for oppositions who were short! If not playing, then I was a very keen scorer and my handiwork can still be seen in some old score books.
Somehow over 60 years later, I still look forward to visiting the Club regularly all year round now we have our superbly renovated pavilion. One of my biggest thrills was being asked at the tender age of 17 to become vice-captain of the Club, which was followed by the captaincy 3 years later. Amazingly this honour continued for about the next 30 years. The highlight in those years was undoubtedly the Club's many successful matches in the National Village Cup when on two occasions we got within a couple of games of a Lords final. When I was put out to grass about 25 years ago I was once again proud to be invited to become the Club Chairman, and surprisingly am still in the chair.
Loyal I may be, but the Club has been fortunate to have had many loyal servants; in the last 60+ years we have had only four treasurers and six secretaries. Although we have had several Presidents, the Club was superbly led by the late, great President John Sutcliffe for many years, and the ground is named after him. He was the architect of this Club and set the standards we value so much at Avoncroft. These include loyalty, friendship, playing hard but fair, offering a warm welcome to visitors, family and friends alike, and always working for the good of the Club and its future. We may find silverware hard to come by these days, but we are proud of our awards for fairness and exemplary behaviour when playing, and for the quality and ambience of our ground and pavilion. Long may it continue-less than thirty years now to our centenary!"
Rod Braithwaite, Chairman
"I have been secretary for longer than I can remember. I only joined the club by accident in my late 30s being asked to fill in by my near neighbour at that time Rod Braithwaite as they were one short , I opened against Belbroughton and late cut the first ball for 4 - how about that for memory -. Had this request not happened I would have given the game up for family commitments. Rod soon had me on the committee and as an insurance broker I was horrified. that we were open to traffic on the road side and it was me who with help planted the conifer screen along the road side as protection. I soon became deputy secretary to at first John Sketchley and then Frank Holiday, when Frank retired about 1980 I took over.
Probably the most satisfying period apart from actually playing was when I assisted Paul Athey as a coach when he started our youth training facility nearly 20 years ago, we lost nearly every match with our one youth team only little Will Sach could get the ball off the square, however if we had not started I doubt the club could have survived as so many of those little lads are now the back bone of the the teams and of course the youth development is now going from strength to strength."
Len Keen, Hon Secretary
"I joined the club when my job brought me to Bromsgrove. That was in 1989 and I spent the rest of my cricketing career at the club. That must say something about the club. I have always thought the club ethos of playing hard but in line with the spirit of cricket was right and as captain I tried to continue with that mantra. The club is blessed with a hard working committee and is lucky to have such nice surroundings. I shall always treasure the golden season of 2005 when both first and second teams won their respective leagues. Our captain, Guy Weston, lead a mix of youth and experience to a convincing title, wrapping up the championship well before the end of the season. I have had many happy personal memories at Avoncroft. I was privileged to play with the great Brian Close not once but on two occasions in touring games. With the extended pavilion the club now offers even more enjoyment off the pitch and combined with a thriving youth section the club can only go from strength to strength."
Chris Townsend, former player and current Vice-Chairman
"Avoncroft has been a constant part of my life, from a young child sitting on the boundary edge waiting for a break so I could run on to the outfield to play with my dad, through various roles as a player, a captain, a coach and a volunteer. It has always been there as a distraction to the stresses that life can bring and I can’t imagine a time when it won’t be there in the future. For six months of the year, it is the hub of my family life – whether I’m playing, coaching or watching my own children play, there are more days spent at the ground than not. I can’t imagine a more welcoming and comforting environment for a child to grow up in, or for an adult to relax in."
Paul Athey, Hon Treasurer, Junior section lead and current playing member
"I joined Avoncroft as I was not enjoying my cricket at my previous club and had a good friend play at Avoncroft who had told me how good the club was. Having joined both myself and my family could not have been made to feel more welcome and part of the “Avoncroft family” which has resulted in me becoming firstly on the committee and then 1st team captain within 3 years of being at the club as well as other members of my family being involved in other aspects of the club.
The club is a great friendly place to play cricket which is shown on Saturday afternoons with my family and other players families down at the ground watching the games while the kids play. It’s a great sight to see."
Craig Hughes, playing member
If you would like your own testimonial on this page, please send a brief email with what the club means to you.
If you would like to consider joining Avoncroft, send us an email summarising your experience. We welcome players of all ability to the club, so please do get in contact with us, regardless of the level of your cricketing experience.
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