Nick Knight dinner raises £2,500 towards Bury St Edmunds project

Nick Knight, right, looks at the plans for the pavilion and sports hall with project chairman David

Nick Knight, right, looks at the plans for the pavilion and sports hall with project chairman David Barker, left - Credit: Archant

FORMER England batsman Nick Knight helped to raise £2,500 towards the cost of Bury St Edmunds Cricket Club’s new pavilion.

Knight, who now works as a cricket commentator for Sky Sports, was guest speaker at a Sportsman’s Dinner on Friday evening organised by the club and held at South Lee School adjacent to their Victory Road ground, which regularly hosts Suffolk matches.

The pavilion is part of a £2.1 million project which includes a sports hall which will be operated by South Lee School and made available to the local community outside school hours.

The scheme is a ground-breaking public/private partnership and will be run by the ground’s new owners Victory Sports CIC, a Community Interest Company comprising the school, the cricket club, Victory Sports Ground Ltd and Sporting 87 Football Club. They have all made significant contributions as well as the ECB.

The total project cost is around £2.1m and £2.05m has been raised so far, leaving about £50,000 to find over the summer.


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Work started in January and is expected to be completed towards the end of this year.

The former Essex and Warwickshire player, who now lives in Suffolk, entertained 100 guests with stories about his international career and also did a question and answer session.

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In addition to items auctioned off, Knight raised a further £300 on the night by auctioning off his offer of an hour’s coaching in the sports hall when it is completed plus a bat autographed by the Sky Sports cricket team.

Paul Whittaker, chairman of Bury St Edmunds CC, said: “I thought Nick Knight was excellent, a genuine pro on and off the field and we were most grateful to him for giving up his time to speak and do the Q&A for us. Also, I thought his story about his England debut brought home that even at the very top there are challenges to overcome.

“Nick’s offer to auction an hour’s coaching was also a nice touch and created great excitement in the room. Congratulations to Dick Ward for being the successful bidder.

“We were most grateful for the excellent support we had for the evening from the Suffolk cricket community and local businesses.

“It feels like we are now on the home straight and I am confident we will raise the remaining £50k to complete the project which will provide a superb facility for cricket in the county and enable Bury St Edmunds CC to continue its work helping grassroots cricket and developing county and first-class cricketers for years to come.

“With active programmes for developing adult cricket and coaching boys, girls, ladies and disabled players we are increasing participation and bringing the game of cricket to as many people as possible.”

The night also launched an appeal to help raise the remaining sum needed.

Recognition of supporters of the project will be displayed within the new facility in platinum (£1,000+), gold (£250+), silver (£100+) and bronze (£25+) categories.

Cheques can be made payable to either Bury St Edmunds CC or Sporting 87 FC and sent to David Barker, Westhorpe Lodge, Westhorpe, Stowmarket, IP14 4TA. Alternatively, contact him on 07876 496064 or email david@ejbarker.co.uk

Further details are available at www.burystedmundscricketclubofficialsite.co.uk

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