Introducing the Oakley Committee

Chairman – Bob Lethaby

Appointed chairman of Oakley in 2013, Bob recently celebrated his 10th anniversary. To celebrate the achievement, the committee and supporters surprised Bob by ensuring the milestone went unnoticed at the 2023 awards evening. At Oakley, we have a way of doing things.

Despite his lifelong passion for the game, Bob’s cricketing abilities leave much to be desired. His batting style resembles a rabbit in headlights swinging a stick of rhubarb, while his bowling action is likened to an octopus falling out of a tree.

Nevertheless, Bob’s determination to improve has seen him reach the milestones of 100 wickets and a thousand runs since his debut in 2006. His highest score of 45 not out in 2015, fell just short of his self-publicised goal of ’50 before I’m 50‘.

Demonstrating a tenuous link to being an ‘all-rounder’, Bob also boasts a total of three career sixes and a notable six-wicket haul that made local headlines (due to Bob writing the article himself). This earned him the moniker, ‘The Oakley Express’, courtesy of Alton First Team Skipper, Scott Myers.

Despite catastrophic on field performances, off the field, Bob and his loyal committee have been instrumental in Oakley’s excellent progress. Under his leadership, the club has achieved several promotions, reached local cup finals, and undergone several upgrades and redevelopments. Oakley now boasts a thriving colts section and both girls’ and ladies’ teams, with strong participation levels across all three men’s teams.

Bob has expressed his commitment to the role as long as there is continued progress on and off the pitch. However, he jokes that he would like to be forcibly removed if he starts reminiscing about the “good old days” when every summer was  hot, and cricketers were tough enough to head bouncers for six.

Until then, Bob remains at the helm, guiding Oakley through both triumphs and tribulations on and off the pitch.

Gordon Scott – Club President

Introducing the man of many names, our President extraordinaire – Scotty, Scottman, Gordon or Gordy… just don’t call him Mervyn, he’s not a fan of that one.

You know how in sports they throw around the term ‘legend’ like confetti at a wedding? Well, Gordon’s the real deal, though he might blush a bit at the mention. With a fault laden century to his name (cricket, not age, though sometimes it’s hard to tell), he’s worn more hats at Oakley than a hat rack at a mad hatter’s hat convention.

These include, player, captain, colts coach, chairman, groundsman, umpire, president, and ladies’ coach. Gordon is also renown for his handyman work and is always looking to undertake semi-skilled carpentry roles at home and at the club. It is even rumoured he managed to occupy himself in the 2020 lockdown by smashing up his garden shed and building two palettes.

And let’s not forget his linguistic acrobatics – he’s the Picasso of mixed metaphors and the Shakespeare of scrambled idioms. “Shooting ourselves in the back”, “The best thing since sliced milk” and “Bob Jones has more carpentry knowledge in his big finger than I have in my little thumb”, are part of a linguistic buffet where the dishes are served upside down and the dessert is a side of utter confusion.

Since taking the helm as president, he’s been helping steer the ship with the finesse of a drunken sailor – but hey, we’re still afloat, so who’s complaining? Whether it’s plumbing, electrics, or driving the lawnmower straight into the fence (again), Gordon’s always there, sleeves rolled up and ready to… well, usually fix whatever he just broke.

During his 40 odd years as and Oak, there isn’t much Gordon hasn’t been involved in. He is a much-loved part of the furniture and holds a deep affection for the club and the people in it. He offers guidance to others and is fiercely protective of our image. And when it comes to wins, he still loves them like he is a spring chicken. His fist pumps could power a wind turbine, while losses are met with a grimace that usually comes with sucking a lemon.

In 2023 Gordy started to assist the newly formed women’s team with Ian Simpson and it has given him a real boost of energy. The ladies all love him. He is their fairy godmother, waving his spanner instead of a wand, and offering sage advice like, “Hit the ball, don’t let it hit you!”. He gets a real buzz out of seeing them improve and win matches. They are now becoming a key part of the club in very little time.

So, Gordy is a legend. Okay 98% of his 5476 club runs may have come from leg side nurdles, but it is his all-round contribution in every role he has undertaken that make him a village cricket great. He is the ultimate clubman. Mr Oakley himself, a jackal of all trades, the cat’s knees, a phantom of knowledge…the list goes on.

Check for the man!

Treasurer – Peter Holcroft

Headhunted by the chairman in 2014, lifelong friend and accountant, Pete Holcroft, became treasurer. Whilst critics were concerned this was a Putinesque coup by Bob in a bid to bring totalitarianism style leadership to the club, it was hard to deny that Oakley needed a treasurer who could count.

Like any treasurer worth his salt, Pete set about taking control of affairs in a slightly dour and surly manner as he tried to understand how Alex had booked holiday flights on the club credit card (in fairness, he paid it back instantly). Before long, the accounts were in a stable condition and Bob’s recruitment strategy had paid off.

Pete is not all about profit warnings and maintaining margins though, and like all horses that are dark in nature, he knows how to rock and roll. Several members can recall a raucous evening with Pete using a ‘knocking in’ mallet to bang the bar rhythmically to the sound of ‘I am the Resurrection’ by The Stone Roses. Others are still struggling to unsee the night he did an upper body strip in Plush bar.

After over a decade with The Oaks, Pete is also one of our greatest armchair followers. Whilst in Spain last summer, he discovered it is a region of Europe that gets hot. So, rather than stay on the beach and soak up some rays, Pete retired to his room, set the conditioning to 14 centigrade, and watched the Oaks via the FrogBox on YouTube. A true loyal Oak if there ever was one.

Now in his 10th year, Pete continues to go about the business of keeping The Oaks on the level. His lessons in frugality and his ability to see potential pitfalls, has kept bank balances buoyant and allowed us to cope with the unexpected financial hits that come along in the life of a village cricket club.

To summarise, without Pete, we wouldn’t be where we are now. The club moves forward and on an upward curve because of his efforts and affection for Oakley CC and his fellow members.

Club Secretary – Dan Jones

Meet Dan Jones, affectionately known as DJ, the former colts player who, from early age, appeared destined to be stuck with the club forever – a challenge he’s embracing with gusto.

From his early days as a colt, DJ was earmarked as “one to watch” among the senior ranks, with many pundits predicting he’d reach the very top (of The Oaks batting order). His transition into the men’s team was as smooth as a rockabilly’s hairdo and he quickly rose through the ranks to the First XI.

Any fears of DJ being poached by bigger clubs soon vanished as he developed a knack for habitually chipping one to cover when looking well set, normally on 19. It appeared that Oakley CC had found its own village version of England’s dashing underachiever, Mark Ramprakash.

With a 60 year Oakley contract in place, DJ soon immersed himself into committee duties, mastering the art of extracting funds from donors, sponsors, and the sports council. All these impressive achievements were undertaken with the subtlety of a sledgehammer cracking a walnut.

DJ’s involvement in club functions, building projects, and fundraising, knows no bounds. He’s also not one to shy away from post-match festivities, indulging in fun, games and frolics that once involved projectile vomiting in the chairman’s car – a true mark of dedication.

Already a club stalwart in his early twenties, DJ’s journey from boy to man is far from over. With first-team captaincy on the horizon and the chairman’s position a future formality (if he can reach the heights of the incumbent, that is), who knows? One day, he too might find himself scraping a young pretender’s puke from his car’s upholstery?

In summary, we are genuinely proud of DJ. He is a shining gem on the coal face of village cricket.

First XI Skipper – James Bayliss

When Hurstbourne Priors folded in 2016, James Bayliss had a big decision to make. After receiving a host of requests from no other clubs, James finally decided to fulfil a childhood dream and cross The Test Valley to join The Oaks.

James settled in well, and with his solid technique and balletic batting style, he rapidly became one of our, “He looks good in the nets” regulars.  However, once out in the field of battle, James nullified any fears that he might be a regular century maker by perpetually going about the business of inexplicably getting out when looking well set. This generally results in James demonstrating his many moods…most of them bad.

As an example, once, during a match where James was opening, the chairman strolled in ten minutes late, scratching his head. “Where’s Bayliss?” he asked, puzzled. Quick as a flash, Alex Brundle pointed across the field, saying, “See that tiny white dot over yonder? That’s James.”

Still, James battled on and became a regular behind the stumps as well as making some vital contributions with the bat. One such game was when he guided us to victory in a humdinger of a game against Hook. Reeling at 25-5, we had resembled a deck of cards in a force 9 until James, along with Mike Tiley, steered us to a rousing victory. It’s those kind of one-off performances that convince us amateurs to come back. It’s cruel that they are so rare.

Then, in the autumn of 2022, James achieved the pinnacle of his cricketing career – he became the First XI Captain. Tears of joy and promises of fearless leadership flowed as James vowed to lead The Oaks to the promised land of promotion, even if it meant navigating the occasional wayward WhatsApp message.

Captaining with maturity, guile, and an occasionally simmering temperament, James had the ones of Oakley fans daring to dream. But alas, a single game of collective brain freeze dashed our promotion hopes. It was disappointing but at the same time, it was a good season amid some appalling weather. Third place was a solid achievement and it was widely acknowledged that James had done a great job.

However, the narrow failure and the aftermath of the ‘keepergate’ scandal, had James contemplating his future. Enter the chairman, armed with experience and wisdom, ready to make an emergency intervention in James’s garden alongside the banks of The Test. The captain and the chair sat, philosophised, and drank a cup of tea. Once Bob had got over the disappointment of there being no biscuits, he set about convincing James to take The Oaks forward.

There were tears of sadness and joy (but still no biscuits) and the charm offensive worked. As a result, on a wave of emotion, James was unanimously voted back in at the club AGM. His mission? To elevate the First XI to new heights. As we look ahead to 2024, with a few potential new recruits in the mix, the future sparkles like a freshly uncorked bottle of champagne (or Prosecco, if that’s your fancy). If James can keep the momentum going, there’s no reason why we won’t be popping those corks in celebration come late August.

Greatness beckons, and James is poised to grasp it with both hands.

Second XI Skipper – Ian Bennett

Take yourself back to 2016. It was a wild ride. Leicester won the Premier League, England got knocked out of the Euros by Iceland, Britain said “cheerio” to the EU, the Panama Papers spilled the beans, Donald Trump grabbed the reins in the US, and Ian Bennett hung up his rugby boots.

That’s right, after years of chasing eggs, Ian decided his shoulder couldn’t bear it anymore, so he switched to giving the red leather sphere a hefty whack. A bouncy, forceful, and occasionally spiky character, Ian soon made his presence known, leaving opponents debating if he was their most hated player.

But was he any good? Well, to the fury of his teammates, Ian seemed to take to cricket like a duck to water. Within weeks of joining, he smashed his way to a Sunday ton, a feat some cricketers (like the writer of this post) haven’t achieved in decades of playing the game. Could cricket really be that easy?

Nope. Much to the relief of the majority of bitterly envious members, Ian soon discovered that cricket is a fickle, wicked, narcissistic old hag of a mistress, and she doesn’t let anyone humble her. ‘The new Brad’ quickly became ‘The poor man’s Brad’, but Ian still managed to pull off some hefty match-winning innings, especially when he resisted the urge to whack absolutely everything into Wiltshire.

As the years passed, Ian found himself among a group of “too good for the seconds, not good enough for the firsts” type players. This can be quite unsettling when you’re being bounced from one team to another due to club availability. So, when the Second XI Captain’s vacancy popped up, the timing couldn’t have been more perfect.

Fast forward to 2024, and Ian is poised to lead in his bustling, busy, and competitive manner. He’s determined to do well and will have the backing of his teammates. Settled into his new role, Ian will also have the time to find consistent form. Being a captain and getting married in the same year will certainly make for some unforgettable memories.

In summary, if David ‘Bumble’ Lloyd was describing Ian, he’d probably say something like this:

“He’s a lively lad, a bit surly, a bit spikey, big character…but deep down…he’s a nice lad.”

Third XI Skipper – Dan Beckell

When you hear someone utter, “Ah, he’s Mr. Oakley, isn’t he?” your mind might dart to the legends like Gordon Scott or maybe Steve Savage. But lurking not far behind these giants stands the towering figure of Mr. Daniel Beckell.

Dan’s veins practically flow with the white (with a dash of green and red) colours of Oakley Cricket Club. From his early days as a lad to his full-grown stature, Dan’s been a jack-of-all-trades around the club – from team captain to colt’s manager, to the walking fine waiting to happen.

As a player, Dan sets admirably high standards, though some might call them fanciful. With a solid defence, a punchy front foot drive that could make even the staunchest of bowlers quake, and an utterly abysmal sweep shot, you never quite know what spectacle Dan will serve up next. And neither does Dan himself.

One week, he’s smashing boundaries like he’s auditioning for the First XI; the next, he’s abruptly walking back to a clubhouse that is rapidly turning into the Mary Celeste whilst Ian checks the back of his van for some ready mixed plaster.

In the field, Dan’s a rare breed – a genuinely good slip fielder and team motivator, albeit occasionally afflicted with a glum outlook when wickets tumble. But hey, predicting impending doom not only softens the blow when it hits but also makes those rare glorious comebacks all the sweeter.

But it’s with the Colts that Dan truly shines. When he took over, calling the setup a chaotic omnishambles of misery would have been a compliment. Yet, with the ruthlessly organised Natalie by his side, Dan stabilised, galvanised, and modernised this section of the club, turning it into a jewel in Oakley’s crown.

Now, he’s taking on the mantle of Third XI to complete what he started – to usher the Colts he once trained into the realm of adult cricket. With renewed enthusiasm and unwavering belief in the future stars he’s nurturing, Dan marches forward, knowing he’s shaping a legacy he can be proud of.

It was 1986 when young Dan first graced the Oakley turf. For many of us of a certain vintage, that year conjures memories of Maradona’s ‘Hand of God,’ the Chernobyl disaster, and the Anglo-French pact to dig the Channel Tunnel. And on the music front, while Madonna ruled and The Bangles strutted like Egyptians, Billy Ocean reminded us all that ‘When the Going Gets Tough, the Tough Get Going.’

It’s almost as if Billy Ocean knew that an 11-year-old Dan was making his debut. Check for the man!

Ladies Captain – Sarah Shearing

Introducing Sarah Shearing, the Oakley Ladies captain. Sarah’s stepping into the role ready to captain the ship on-field with the finesse of a seasoned hockey pro and the wit of a stand-up comedian.

With the ladies team embarking on a wild learning adventure, Sarah’s aims to be a fearless leader, guiding them through the highs and lows of cricket. And with Ian Simpson and Gordon Scott as their coaching maestros, they’re already winning games.

As winter reluctantly gives way to spring (fingers crossed!), Sarah’s gearing up to lead the outdoor team, proudly waving the Oakley flag (if we had one) both on and off the pitch. With Sarah at the helm, Oakley’s future looks brighter than the freshly polished trophies coming our way.

Good luck, Sarah!

Colts Director – Kris Tucknott

Another member of our ‘bring the kids along to Colts and end up playing every week’ crew is Kris ‘Tuckers’ Tucknott. Kris hails from Sussex and is, quite remarkably, one of two Charlton Athletic supporters at Oakley. I’d never met one in my entire life, then, sort of like buses, two of them turn up at one club.

Upon arriving a few years back, Kris immediately threw himself into being accepted by the Oakley CC League of Gentlemen. Somewhat naively, in a moment of madness, Kris also chucked himself headfirst into the Third XI captain’s role. However, a crazy day spent on a turd-covered council pitch on the edge of Aldershot, quickly put paid to that.

It was a bizarre afternoon where our 10 available players featured one colt who only wanted to do press-ups and trigger our only recognized batsman (who never played again). There was another who looked like he’d just arrived from a 1950s jazz concert. Then there was the chairman as a frontline bowler along with cricket hater, Harry Lethaby (who predictably took one in the face) on debut. Harry was guided to the crease by the grandiosely self-assured Deano James, who was seeking a fifth successive golden duck (he somehow avoided it).

Still unsure if he was in a parallel universe, Kris then proceeded to drop an absolute dolly of a catch that, remarkably, may have led to one of the most shocking victories ever seen in village cricket. As rain arrived and the temperature plummeted from 28 degrees Celsius to 14 in the space of an hour, it was obvious this was the beginning of the end of his reign, and Kris resigned not long after. It was either that or face the prospect of spending his remaining years heavily sedated in a padded cell.

Kris was done with captaining, but fortunately, not Oakley CC. The magical magnetic force of village cricket was too much, and he hung around to play, coach, and umpire. A decent cricketer who is good behind the stumps, Kris also possesses an almost lazy, lucid batting style that has plundered 656 runs in 42 appearances, including a top score of 70. Average at most clubs but in the Oakley Third XI, being average elevates you to Mount Rushmore status.

With his two boys showing promise (Harry is already a strike bowler in the men’s First XI), Kris decided captaining the thirds hadn’t punished him enough. So, last year, he became Colts director, replacing the big Converse basketball boots of Dan Beckell. It’s been a relatively seamless transition, and Kris is working hard with an area of the club that exploded in numbers when Dan and Natalie made Oakley the place to be for local youngsters.

Kris is now guiding the elder Colts towards Dan Beckell, his predecessor, who is graduating them into the men’s game in his role as the new Third XI Skipper. Good golly, just look at us. We are utterly seamless here at ‘the theatre of scenes’. We need to be as well, because, joking apart, cricket clubs that don’t have Colts sections are disappearing at an alarming rate.

Since arriving at the club five years ago, Kris has become a regular, both on the pitch, and working with the all-important Colts section. He’s nearly always loitering around at club functions and get-togethers, particularly when beer is is likely to be ready available for consumption. A dry and sarcastic personality is complemented by the vital ingredient of being able to laugh at one’s own inadequacies.

Kris is one of my favourite members and a great addition to the Oakley ranks where he is well liked by colts and adult members.

Ian Simpson – Club Coach

A few years ago, down the quaint streets of Winchester, destiny played its hand, orchestrating a meeting that would set the cricketing world abuzz (Well, Oakley, at least). Picture the scene: Ian Simpson, affectionately dubbed Simmo, strolling down the bustling High Street when fate intervened, paving the way for a cricketing adventure like no other. It was there he met club chairman, sporting maestro, and fashion icon, Bob Lethaby.

Fast forward three years, and Simmo stands as the maestro of cricketing finesse, juggling the reins of various teams with the skill of a seasoned…erm…juggler. From shaping the untapped genius of the men’s teams to nurturing the fledgling talent of the under 15s, and even birthing the ladies’ team into existence, his influence knows no boundaries (do not excuse the pun, it’s the best I have).

But Simmo’s journey isn’t just a tale of tenure; it’s a narrative woven with threads of experience and expertise. With a CV boasting a stint as head honcho at HNBCC and coaching accolades at club, district, and county levels, Simmo’s cricketing credentials are as solid as the red leather sphere that breaks our fingers on a cold April afternoon.

In his own words, Simmo’s coaching mantra is a delightful concoction of fun and hard graft. Picture it in your minds eye: a training session where laughter flows as freely as blood from a split finger, all while the sweat drips like rain from the hanging baskets on a bleak August Saturday. For Simmo, there’s no greater joy than witnessing the fruits of  his labour blossom into cricketing triumphs. Well, there is, but I can’t post it on here.

And amidst this whirlwind of cricketing excellence, there’s a delightful twist in the tale. Simmo finds himself in cahoots with Gordon ‘Scotty’ Scott, a fellow cricketing luminary with whom he once locked horns on the hallowed greens of Oakley and Rotherwick. But now, united by a shared vision (I think Gordy can still see) and a mutual love for the game, they stand ready to conquer new frontiers together – it’s like heaven has just arrived on earth.

In the ever-spinning carousel of cricket, Simmo’s presence isn’t just a mere footnote; it’s a rallying cry for passion, dedication, and for our brave men’s team, a top six finish in County North Division 3. So, as we embark on this cricketing odyssey alongside him, one thing is abundantly clear – with Simmo at the helm, the future of cricket in our community is set to travel to places it’s never been before…a bit like on Star Trek.

Check for the man…On we travel!

Welfare Officer – Mike Bryant

Mike’s journey from Zimbabwe to the UK reads like a cricketing odyssey gone awry. From envisioning sunny afternoons on picturesque cricket greens to facing the cold and damp reality of Glasgow, his paid cricketer dreams took a comical turn. Yet, amidst the gloom, Glasgow’s pubs and nightlife emerged as the unexpected heroes of his story.

Fast forward twenty years and several career detours later, and Mike crashes into Oakley Cricket Club with the gusto of a man on a mission. Despite his questionable match fitness, he proves to be a diamond in the rough, or rather, a cricketer in dire need of conditioning. But hey, if he were match fit, he might be off playing at a higher level elsewhere.

In his 45 games for The Oaks, Mike has managed to rack up 345 runs and snag 41 wickets, not too shabby for a bloke who had been out of regular cricket for several years. Then, in a stroke of fate (or perhaps desperation), he only goes and lands the role of club Welfare Officer after enduring a gruelling five-minute interview process at club nets. Mike’s promise? Not to end up in the absurd scenario of disciplining himself.

As the guardian of Club Welfare, Mike’s task is no small feat, especially with ambitions of attaining Clubmark Status in 2024. But fear not, for Mike is already knee-deep in courses and procedures, ensuring that Oakley becomes the poster child of cricketing welfare excellence.

Beyond the administrative hustle, Mike’s commitment to cricket shines through. His tight bowling, sharp fielding, and belligerent batting make him an invaluable asset on the pitch. And while he may come off as feisty and competitive, underneath that tough exterior lies a funny, sociable bloke—a good mate to have on your team, especially if you fancy a post-match laugh over a pint or two.

In the end, Mike is more than just a player; he’s a testament to the spirit of cricket and the camaraderie it fosters. So here’s to Mike—the man, the myth, the Welfare Officer extraordinaire—a good bloke through and through.

Fixtures Secretary – Alex Brundle

When Alex Brundle sauntered into Oakley Park back in 2011, little did we suspect he’d become the linchpin of the club’s evolution in the years to come.

Dubbed A.B (because, well, that’s his initials), Alex swiftly morphed into a feisty little cricketer, using his sharp wit and a keen eye for the game to compensate for a somewhat noticeable lack of natural talent.

The result? A pint-sized dynamo with a skiddy right-arm delivery, a gutsy yet quirky batting stance, lightning reflexes in the field, and a knack for taking a stunning catch one moment and fluffing a sitter the next. What a rollercoaster ride!

Off the field, in the early days of the chairman’s reign, Alex bravely took on the role of Treasurer. Let’s just say it wasn’t his finest hour, earning him a grilling at the AGM from Lance ‘You Can’t’ Van Dyk that could have rivaled the greatest toe-snapping documentaries in television history. “Can you explain these flight expenses?” is a line you’d only hear in a village cricket AGM.

But fear not, Pete came to the rescue, and Alex set about rebuilding his slightly tarnished reputation, with the occasionally eccentric chairman by his side, probably fixing a fence. From scoreboards to Covid competitions, Alex’s list of contributions to the club knows no bounds.

His two-year stint as skipper was a success, but wisely stepping aside in 2023, Alex recognized his limits. Unlike the textbook cricketers who can rely on mountains of runs to mask their skippering shortcomings, Alex couldn’t. So, he gracefully returned to the Second Team, regained his form, and forced his way back into the First XI.

Trained at the prestigious ‘Ollie Rabley Academy of Never Losing One’s Temper,’ Alex’s calm demeanor shouldn’t be mistaken for a lack of passion. While some players might throw their bats in frustration at walking from their crease, Alex prefers to keep his dignity intact.

At the heart of the club’s growth, Alex is a top bloke. A true Oakley visionary, he’s earned every ounce of respect from his fellow members.

A legendary Oak indeed.

*the flight money was instantly transferred back to the club. Alex didn’t have a credit card so he used the club one and sent his own money straight into the club account, but it still looked bloody funny.

Clubhouse Manager – Ollie Rabley


Introducing Ollie Rabley, the quintessential cricketing parent, a familiar sight at every village club. They start innocently enough, signing their kids up for colts teams, lending a helping hand, and then suddenly find themselves roped into playing for the adult team when they’re short on numbers.

Before they know it, they are buying pads and gloves at Serious Cricket and pretending to be expertly pondering over bat sizes like they’re choosing a fine wine. If you are to start playing cricket, it is critical to act like you know what you are talking about when buying new gear. What you don’t do is turn up at a Rose Bowl coaching course in full Sports Direct whites purchased for £9.99. Ask the chairman, he’ll confirm it.

Ollie made his debut in 2015 and has since racked up 75 appearances, boasting a batting average just north of 15 and 62 wickets to his name. He’s even had the pleasure of being smacked square in the face by the ball, resulting in a delightful mix of dental and hospital treatments.

Ollie is has become known at Oakley for his calm and measured approach to cricket and life, so when he finally lost his cool in 2022, it was a beautiful sight. In a perfect storm of misery, a plethora of leg side half-trackers to a testosterone -fueled behemoth, got walloped out of Newfound . Ollie hit  boiling point and about time too. Forget the score, it was his fellow players’ very own JFK moment – they will forever remember where they were when Ollie erupted into a symphony of self-loathing expletives. Ah, the beauty of cricket!

Eager for more excitement, Ollie decided to get more involved. With his sons Nathan and Will off gallivanting at university or busy with men’s cricket, Ollie saw an opportunity to use up some spare time. When the role of clubhouse manager opened up, there was only one man for the job – Ollie himself.

It was a match made in cricketing heaven. With his son Will by his side, (who took to the role like a Nazi Kommandant) Ollie transformed the clubhouse into a clean, welcoming, and profitable haven. Not only did he master the art of event management, but club hire bookings skyrocketed faster than one of his half-trackers coming off the bat of the gleeful recipient.

Ollie’s journey from cricket dad to committee member is a testament to him and indeed, the magnetic pull of the game. What started as bringing the lads to cricket practice 15 years ago has blossomed into a deep affection for the club and its members. It may not have been what he envisioned, but that’s cricket for you – drawing people in with its irresistible charm. Truly, a great game indeed…except when you are getting smacked all over Hampshire, of course.

Ollie Rabley. Great bloke and a great clubhouse manager.

Events Co-Ordinator – Stef Kaltner