Horsham Cricket Club
Although cricket was played in Horsham before 1768, the first recorded game of a town side was on 8 August 1771, and Horsham Cricket Club was created soon after 1806. The club has played various locations over the years, before settling at their present ground in 1851.
Horsham is situated on the appropriately named 'Cricketfield Road' and the Ground is known officially as the Cricketfield Road Ground. This picturesque ground is one of the most beautiful in the country and is the only ground to host both the MCC Spirit of Cricket U13 Regional Finals and the Portman Cup U15 Regional Finals. The two ends are called the Town End and the Railway End. Pictured is Horsham's second ground, named after former President Dr. John Dew, which lies adjacent to the main square.
Horsham is a very successful club which has played home to many first class cricketers. It runs four Saturday men's teams, one Sunday men's and 2 women's teams. Arguably one of the strongest club sides in the south, Horsham have won the Sussex League title a record eight times and the Cyril Snell trophy a record 11 times (including six times in seven years between 2001 and 2006); most recently in August 2010 where Horsham beat Stirlands CC to win a tight match by four runs, with two balls remaining. The club's crowning achievement came in 2005 when they won the Cockspur Cup for the first time in their history. They were captained to victory by Luke Marshall in a tight thriller against Barnt Green of Birmingham, in which Marshall bowled Horsham to victory by three runs off the final ball, in which Chris Nash was Man of the Match.
Horsham CC annually hosts a week of cricket for Sussex County Cricket Club, being one of three official Sussex outgrounds. A first-class match and a domestic limited overs match is usually part of the week, known as the Horsham Cricket Festival.
Notable Horsham cricketers
Players with first-class caps who have represented Horsham are:
- Will Beer
- Shaun Humphries
- Andrew Hodd
- Carl Hopkinson
- Will House
- Robin Martin-Jenkins
- Chris Nash
- Michael Thornely
- Michael Munday
- David Hussey
- Shane Jurgensen
- Jan-Berrie Burger
- Naved Arif Gondal
- Mark Sanders
- In the 1980s, Australian cricketer Tim May spent a season honing his offspin as a 19 year old.
- In the 1970s Sussex and England cricketer, Paul Parker, lived and went to school in the town after his family arrived in the UK from Rhodesia.
Dr J. A. Dew
Dr John Dew, MBE (12 May 1920 – 7 September 2008) became the best known and certainly best loved character in Horsham, West Sussex, where he was born, lived for most of his life and served the community in a manner that is increasingly rare, if not almost extinct in today’s peripatetic society. Beyond his home town he was renowned as a cricketer, especially as a sparkling wicketkeeper who won a wartime Blue for Cambridge and played twice in county championship matches for Sussex in 1947. In his history of Sussex cricket, Home Gordon said of him that “he only needed opportunity to be ranked among the very best and his keenness added to the satisfaction he afforded”.
In a busy life during which nothing seemed to disturb his energy or good cheer, Dew was also a popular family doctor, Deputy Lord-Lieutenant of Sussex and for 50 years a faithful member of the choir at St Mary’s, the parish church beside the cricket ground. He was also a co-founder of the West Sussex Philharmonic Choir and governor of what is now Collyer’s College, the former grammar school.
The inspiration of young cricketers in the town and a pioneer of organised junior cricket in the county, he was captain of Horsham Cricket Club for ten years and its president for 47. His organisation of the colts teams was his lasting legacy. Five members of the current professional staff of Sussex, the recent county champions, are former Horsham cricketers, three of them having played for the club from the age of 7.
Having kept wicket for Tonbridge and captained the rugby team he qualified as a GP at the London Hospital after reading medicine at Cambridge. As a player he would keep up a constant jovial banter behind the stumps, not always an aid to the batsman’s concentration but the product of his natural enthusiasm. A warm and generous personality but also a natural leader, he had a distinctive, throaty voice and a hearty laugh.
He started the junior section in 1959 and ever since the sight of young cricketers playing either informal or formal fixtures on the ground on summer afternoons and evenings, not to mention weekend mornings, has been a feature of the club. He encouraged and respected all of them, girls as well as boys, whatever their ability, age, creed or colour. He not only remembered all their names but those of their parents and siblings too. He not only inspired the young himself but by his energy and persuasive powers got hundreds of adult helpers involved. If children were not lucky enough to enjoy organised cricket at school they could be sure of a welcome at Horsham. The example spread to many other clubs in Sussex.
He was appointed MBE for services to the community.
- "Horsham Cricket Club History". Horsham Cricket Club. Retrieved 2011-11-01.
- Asthana, Anushka. The Times (London) http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/obituaries/article4820129.ece. Missing or empty