Mildenhall Cricket Club suffers double loss

MILDENHALL Cricket Club has been left reeling following the loss of two prominent members.

Following on from the death of long-serving social committee member Beryl Squire, who was 77, a few weeks ago, Rick Handy has lost his battle against cancer at the age of 44.

Handy, who was diagnosed with cancer around four years ago, first played for the club at the age of nine and, apart from a couple of years at Copdock when he was attending college in Ipswich, was a leading member of the 1st XI.

Club chairman Tony Cornell said: “It’s been a sad start to 2012, particularly as we are celebrating being at our ground in Wamil Way for 40 years this year. Both Beryl and Rick were very much involved in many of those years and were part of so many of the events that have taken place during this period.

“Beryl for many years was part of the social committee of the club and whenever there was catering involved more often than not she would be cooking or serving up. She had been fed a diet of cricket from a young age – her father, Fred Cox, was a former captain of the club.

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“Her interest was maintained when both her sons, Mark and Andrew, started playing for Mildenhall. She and her husband John could be seen at a cricket ground every weekend throughout the season, watching the progress of Andrew, who eventually established himself in the Suffolk County team.

“In 1982 Rick was part of what I would term the ‘new wave’ that played for Mildenhall when the club became the last big club in West Suffolk to join league cricket. His love of the game came at a very early age, having two elder brothers (Ian and Lou) playing for Mildenhall as young teenagers. He was just nine when he got a call to play for the club at short notice.

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“He was a powerful top-order batsman whose name was always one of the first on the selection sheet. The ‘new wave’ factor was also evident in the improvement of fielding standards in the team and Rick was quick in the outfield and a safe pair of hands with catches. He helped Mildenhall grow from a social cricket side into one that could compete in the Two Counties Division One and win the Suffolk Cup for the first time.

“Losing both in such a few short weeks has been a great loss to the club. Both will be remembered with great affection.”

Andrew Squire recalled the day when his mum met came across a young Kevin Pietersen, who has since become one of the world’s leading batsmen, when he played for Nottinghamshire at Mildenhall in a Cheltenham & Gloucester Trophy tie.

“She always mentioned the time when Kevin Pietersen asked her for another piece of her apple pie when Suffolk hosted Nottinghamshire at Mildenhall in 2001. The ladies certainly gained a reputation for being the best cricket lunches and teas around!”

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