Book brings club’s history to life

THE RICH and varied history of a cricket club has been brought to life in a new book.

The Story of Wivenhoe Cricket has been researched and written by Jon Wiseman, who is the club’s president.

The hard back book, which was launched on Thursday during the club’s Cricket Week, covers the history of the club from the mid-eighteenth century to the present day.

The timing of the launch could not have been better from the point of view that Wivenhoe currently sit proudly on top of Division One of the Marshall Hatchick Two Counties Championship.

Wiseman, whose family moved to Wivenhoe in the mid-1960s, joined the club in 1971 and made his first senior appearance for the 2nd XI the following year aged 13.

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He left in 1980 when work took him south of the River Thames only to return in 1989, when Wivenhoe, then a Division Two club in the Two Counties Championship, caused one of the biggest controversies ever to surround local league cricket.

It was the year that Essex players Andrew Golding and Adrian Brown, who had until then played for Colchester & East Essex and Clacton respectively, joined Wivenhoe.

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As clubs were not allowed to pay cricketers to play for them, Wivenhoe engaged Golding and Brown as paid coaches to mentor the junior members. The following season fellow Suffolk player Justin Edrich also arrived at the club and Wivenhoe duly won promotion to Division One.

Wiseman said: “Everything that has happened to the club since then was sparked by the arrival of Andrew and Adrian.

“The current Wivenhoe team, with the exception of Essex player Billy Godleman and our Australian overseas player Nathan Rabnott, are all players who were coached by Andrew and Adrian during that era.

“The legacy they left behind was a group of youngsters who had the benefit of some quality coaching.”

Although Brown last played for the club in 2002, Golding still lives in Wivenhoe and occasionally turns out for the club’s 3rd XI.

Ex-Essex duo Neil Foster and Don Topley, who only featured in one match, are other first-class cricketers who have graced Rectory Road, the club’s sixth different ground since its formation in 1840, although the first recorded match was six years later.

One of the endearing features of the book is a list of ‘271 Capped Wivenhoe Cricketers’ compiled by the author based on a similar tradition that applies in county cricket of achieving a certain standard based on runs scored or wickets taken but also on the general level of contribution made.

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