Southwold Cricket Club’s 2015 season officially began on Tuesday night as former England captains Graham Gooch and John Emburey gave speeches and took questions on an excellent evening to raise funds for the club and raise awareness of their shirt sponsors for 2015 and 2016.
Over the next two years the club is being sponsored by NHS Organ Donation whilst members are being encouraged to consider signing up to this worthy cause. Although over 21 million people are enrolled on the NHS Organ Donor Register, there are more than 10,000 people in the UK who need an organ transplant.
It is hoped that with Southwold CC’s support this organisation can receive more awareness, and following a previous visit to Southwold’s Pavilion in 2013, Graham Gooch – assisted this time by former England team-mate John Emburey – gladly gave their time.
Over 100 people were present at the event, ranging from former and current Southwold cricketers to local businesses and groups from other sports clubs. Southwold’s latest playing member, Jason Hall, performed a musical accompaniment to the evening along with his wife Helen (even going as far as to rename themselves from Goji to the more appropriate ‘Goochie’ for the night) and following a talk from NHS Organ Donation representative Samantha Major, again reiterating the importance of the organisation, the two former cricketers took to the stage.
Gooch, England’s leading Test run scorer and most recently England batting coach and Emburey, who took more than 1600 first-class wickets in a 20 year career mainly for Middlesex and England both spoke about their own careers before taking a series of questions from the audience. With England facing a tough summer of cricket against a dangerous New Zealand squad and an Australian team off the back of an Ashes whitewash in 2013/14 and a World Cup triumph, Gooch had plenty to say about England’s chances. He was also candid about recent developments in the team, particularly regarding discarded batsman Kevin Pietersen and current captain Alastair Cook, whilst Emburey, a former off-spinner, talked about England’s next spinners and shared stories of days on tour with Gooch and England.
The night raised around £1400 for Southwold Cricket Club and, more importantly, awareness of the need for organ donors.
Thanks, as ever, must go to John Groom Catering and those working behind the bar for the evening, as well as all those who helped organise the event – including Micropress who produced the menu, Jason and Helen Hall who were sponsored by David and Penny Ball at Southwold Boating Lake, Adnams who provided drinks for the reception and Trevor Clifford. Finally, thanks to Graham Gooch, John Emburey and Samantha Major for supporting Southwold Cricket Club and helping the club promote organ donation.