Surprise game leaves Colin in a trance

A SURPRISE party and match was held to celebrate a stalwart of Suffolk cricket's contribution to the county over the last 40 years.The event was held to mark the semi-retirement and 65th birthday of Colin Rutterford as well as wife Janet's recent 60th birthday.

Nick Garnham

A SURPRISE party and match was held to celebrate a stalwart of Suffolk cricket's contribution to the county over the last 40 years.

The event was held to mark the semi-retirement and 65th birthday of Colin Rutterford as well as wife Janet's recent 60th birthday.

Rutterford, who made his debut for Suffolk in 1965, was a member of the side that won the Minor Counties Championship in both 1977 and 1979.


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He played in 137 championship matches over a 20-year period and was a seam bowler who took 431 wickets for the county at an average of 21.48. He also captained Suffolk and later managed the county side.

Rutterford, who has worked at Woodbridge School as grounds manager for the past seven years, will be working during term time only after semi-retiring.

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He previously was grounds manager and cricket professional at Framlingham College for 23 years before leaving in 2000 to work as estates manager for racing trainer Mick Channon in Berkshire for around 18 months.

The event was organised by the Rutterfords' daughter Teresa, who now lives in Plymouth, and was held at Easton Cricket Club last Saturday.

The game itself was between a team of former Suffolk county players versus Old Framlinghamians. The ex-Suffolk team included current captain Phil Caley, Roger Howlett, Dick Bond, Justin Edrich, Russell Green and John Hargreaves as well as John Pugh and Fred Mitchell who have represented Suffolk Over-50s.

The ex-Suffolk side won the match by one run after Matthew Rutterford, Colin's son who now lives in the South of France, could only score two off the final ball when four were required after his side were asked to score 141 for victory.

Rutterford said: “Neither Janet nor I knew anything about the day - it was a total surprise. I thought we were just going out for lunch but had no idea where, but as we got near to the ground I thought we must be going to the Easton White Horse.

“Even when we drove into the ground I was not at all sure what was happening, and the first person I saw was Adam King which was a total shock as I thought he was playing in a game at Stowmarket.”

Around 100 people attended the occasion including Stuart Westley, who was a master at Framlingham and the Suffolk wicket-keeper, and former Framlingham schoolboys Charlie Pritchard and Marcus Beale, now living in Exeter and Staffordshire respectively.

“There were people there who I played cricket with when I first started at Lakenheath in 1957 which meant a lot to me.

“I am very grateful to Easton Cricket Club for putting the game on. I was in a trance for most of the day and then had a hangover most of the next day! I would like to thank everyone for coming, although there were so many people there I didn't get to speak to everyone as much as I would have liked.”

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