Club Cricket Conference

Monday, 21st September 2020

Radford receives national ECB honour for Felbridge roles


By Charles Randall

18 October 2017

Perhaps one of the best ideas followed through by the ECB has been their annual OSCA lunches at Lord's, honouring club volunteers with Outstanding Service to Cricket Awards. There have now been 15 such celebrations.

Typical of the  selfless  people who drive club cricket onwards is Graham Radford, of Felbridge & Sunnyside CC in Sussex, winner of the Lifetime Achiever prize. He was presented with his award by the former England captain Mike Gatting.

These days Graham combines the roles of Felbridge president, honorary secretary and club development officer, but in his 45 years at the club near East Grinstead he has captained the Saturday first team for 14 seasons, organised five tours, managed the ECB Clubmark accreditation process, raised funds for facilities and built partnerships with a number of local schools, among many other contributions. At a local level he was awarded the HA Collison Lifetime Achiever trophy by the Sussex Cricket Foundation.

Felbridge merged with local rivals  Sunnyside in 2001 and  flourished so that they could field four Saturday XIs in the West Sussex Invitation League, underpinned by a good youth section. The genial Radford remains a familiar figure during the summer, umpiring or manning the bar at their lovely Chartham ground on the county border. With a good solid bat on your hand, goes the claim, you can hit the ball from Sussex into Surrey.

The England players stars Stuart Broad, Eoin Morgan and Beth Langston attended the lunch, joining radio commentator Alison Mitchell, the host, in paying tribute at a packed nursery pavilion.

Coach of the Year went to Khushali Patel,  from  Harrow Alliance,  for her work developing girls' and women’s cricket in the borough of Harrow. She won the Middlesex coach of the year award in 2016.

Abigail  Bates, 24, from Leyland CC, won the Young Coach award for her work in Lancashire girls' cricket and especially for starting and inspiring girls' cricket at Shuttleworth College, where she teaches. Off the field, Abi organised social events for her players, helping them bond, mostly notably when she planned and organised a trip for her students to watch a Women’s World Cup game at Derby.

Dave Cherry won the NatWest CricketForce award on behalf of Denby CC in Derbyshire. He led a number of projects including turning the club’s scorebox into female changing rooms. Denby's NatWest weekend was supported by more than 240 people getting the club ready for the new season.

Morgan commented that award events were "absolutely priceless".  He said: "It’s a hugely special day for people being recognised for the work they’ve put in not only this year but their whole lives at their local club ground. It is absolutely phenomenal. Everyone here has a huge smile on their face."

Talking directly to volunteers he added: "You are a hugely significant part of the development of the game in this country. Pat yourself on the back for the work you are doing, but please continue to do it. It’s sometimes unrecognised, but you play a huge role in people’s lives. We play a fantastic game that develops characteristics that will help young people later on in life."

OSCA awards 2017

Lifetime Achiever – Graham Radford (Felbridge & Sunnyside CC, Sussex)
Coach of the Year -  Khushali Patel (Harrow Alliance, London)
Young Coach of the Year – Abigail Bates (Leyland CC, Lancashire) 
Young Volunteer of the Year  - Megan Jones (Audley CC, Staffordshire) 
Officiating, Umpires and Scorers – Albert Pagan (North Yorkshire & South Durham League)
Leagues and Boards – Andy Hunt (Nottingham Cricket Board Premier League)
Get The Game On – Martin Cassidy (Hucknall CC, Nottinghamshire)
Heartbeat of the Club in partnership with Hardys – Cate Hayes (West Bridgfordians CC, Nottinghamshire)
Outstanding Contribution to Coaching – Bruce Storey (Benwell Hill CC, Northumberland)
Outstanding Contribution of Disability Cricket – Richard Hill (Hertfordshire)
NatWest CricketForce - Dave Cherry (Denby CC, Derbyshire)
All Stars Cricket Centre of the Year – Kings Heath CC, Warwickshire
NatWest U19 Club T20 – Ilminster Bears, Somerset