Life of popular Suffolk sporting figure to be celebrated with special match

EADT/SPORT NICK GARNHAMFormer England Cricket Captain Mike Gatting and current England player L

Former England Cricket captain Mike Gatting, right, pictured with the late Paul Crane at Ipswich Cricket Club. The life of 'Digger' Crane will be celebrated with a cricket match at the end of July. - Credit: Archant

A cricket match to celebrate the life of a well-known Suffolk sporting figure is set to be held next month at Ipswich Cricket Club.

Paul 'Digger' Crane passed away, aged 82 last January. He died peacefully at his home.

Although Ipswich-born, Paul's military days only stretched to national service, the cricket-mad batsman became affectionately known as "the colonel" after forming the Ipswich Greyhound Regiment with friends.

Starting as a team of players from other local clubs, the regiment later travelled the world on their annual trips, playing as far as Kenya, South Africa, Sri Lanka and Australia.

SPORTColonel Paul Crane of the Ipswich Greyhound Regiment on an elephant in India PICTURE CO

Colonel Paul Crane of the Ipswich Greyhound Regiment on an elephant in India! - Credit: Contributed

And on Sunday, July 25, after a service of commemoration at 11am at the Ipswich Cricket Club, a match will take place, starting at 11.30am.

'Digger' was president of Ipswich Cricket Club and wrote for the Ipswich Evening Star, 'Crane on Cricket'.

He was a fine cricketer and played twice for Suffolk. But it was his leading of the 'Regiment' that so many people will remember him for. 

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The match is sure to be a wonderful celebration of his life and there will be a collection in aid of the two charities supported by 'Digger' – The Alzheimer’s Society and The Children’s Society.

Olive Leaf Early Days 1968
Back Row, Welham Clark, Sec/ Manager Les Dorling, John Goodchild, Rex

Olive Leaf FC 1968. A team Paul Crane was part of. Back Row, Welham Clark, Sec/ Manager Les Dorling, John Goodchild, Rex Gardiner, Doug Groover, Brian Hervey- Wheybourne, Graham Palmer. Front Row, Tommy Woodward, Brian Rowlands, Paul Rowlands, Paul Crane, John Hare and Reg Hender - Credit: Contributed

Ipswich Cricket Club will be paying for the costs of the food for the lunch out of the money so generously left to the club by 'Digger' in his will.

If you are interested in coming to the lunch, places are limited, contact paul.mobbs3@gmail.com

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