News

 

by Andrew Murphy and Damien Honey

James Morley, known by all as Morlers, sadly died last week after a short illness. He will be desperately missed by all those at the club that knew him. He was immensely popular at Brewery Road and one of the nicest guys you could ever wish to meet. The world is a far poorer place without him and the news has hit many members hard. 

Morlers started at W&H in the latter part of the 1999 season, initially playing on Sundays as his Saturday commitments had him playing for Honor Oak at a level that our club has yet to reach. Given his vast experience playing in the upper reaches of the Surrey Championship he made an immediate impact on the field but that was equally matched by his impact off it. He had time for everyone. He was that kind of guy. 

Morlers started to play on Saturdays from 2000, becoming part of Richard Walsh’s very successful side, and his inclusion in that side helped propel the club into a standard of cricket that it hadn’t reached before (or since). His batting, his reliable slip catching and more importantly, his bowling in the 2001 season were a huge part of why the team gained promotion that season. To add to this, as one of this teammates put it, he was “so instrumental to the culture in the team”. His bowling talent was evident from very early on that year with his W&H best figures of six for six against local rivals Chertsey leading to celebrations long into the night. In total he took 25 wickets at 15 to see us into second place. 

The 2002 season in the league above was a challenge and it proved even so for Morlers as his run of four ducks in a row, earning him the nickname Audi. He took this in good humour and it was no surprise that this run ended with some runs against his old club Honor Oak. 

He didn’t play much in the next few seasons as he moved away from the area (back to South London) but he returned and became a regular again towards the end of the decade. Although his best years with the ball were behind him, he remained a huge influence in the first eleven as his batting came to the fore. Batsmen often said that he was the best person to bat with such was his calming influence at the other end whilst also reassuring you with confidence. It was no coincidence that his return to regular cricket during this period saw the 1st XI gain promotion again in 2010. Over the next few years his appearances were more sporadic, but the one joy about an away trip to the Croydon area for 1st / 2nd or 3rd XI captains (he had no qualms who he played for) was that you could often persuade Morlers to turn out for you and that immediately boosted the team.

He returned to Brewery Road for Bedser week in 2015. This was the perfect type of week for Morlers. A chance to catch up with all sorts of old friends and play some cricket. Morlers excelled. There was certainly some talent on the pitch on that Friday afternoon for the “Legends” game but it was Morlers who walked off with the man of the match award with seventy odd not out, despite not having played for a while, and everyone watching was delighted for him. He loved the day too. Of course he did. It was his club. 

Arguably he made an even bigger impression off the field than he did on it. Former Chairman Smithy put it much better than I can, “one of the nicest blokes you'll ever meet. Always a good word for everyone. He never cared what team you played in or how you'd done. It was his club, you played for Woking and Horsell and that was good enough for him.” That summed him up beautifully and neatly explains the outpouring of heartfelt comments from a really wide selection of club members along with past players and supporters, he always had a friendly greeting for them too . It’s also of no great surprise that former opponents have been in touch too. That’s rare these days. 

So many of us feel honoured to have called you a teammate and friend. Rest in peace Morlers. It was a pleasure. 
 
 
 
 

Winter nets usually start on the last weekend in January but with our plans on hold the Committee are looking at future options, such as potentially opening the nets at Brewery Road a few weeks earlier than usual, which will depend on Government guidance (and the weather!) at the time. We will keep you regularly updated with developments via newsletter, the website, and social media.

If you are new to the club but are interested in playing cricket for us this summer please contact our Cricket Chairman This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.in any case. We would love to hera from you.

Written by Peter Murphy
 
Woking and Horsell Cricket Club has lost one of its most loyal and long-standing supporters and servants with the death early in the new year of Bob Hollands following a short, non-Covid-related illness. Bob had taken part, on the Sunday before Christmas, in the last online meeting of the year of the Club’s “Sunday drinkers”, who share the devastation of his family - devoted wife Ros and the couple’s three children – at his sudden demise.
 
Having played most of his previous cricket in Kent, Bob moved to Woking to take up a job at locally-based Cornhill Insurance and started playing for Woking and Horsell in 1975.  His primary role was as a slow-left-arm bowler although he could bat usefully in the later order. He soon became a fixture in the Saturday 2nd XI where he played much of his cricket until retiring from playing some 10 years later.  Not a big spinner of the ball his reliability as a line and length bowler earned him a steady haul of wickets season-by-season in a good team, usually finishing in the higher reaches of their league table.
 
Clubs like ours waste little time in identifying people who are willing and able to contribute in off-the-field roles and Bob was soon brought on to the Committee, doing a brief stint as Assistant Secretary before taking on the role of Treasurer for 3 years from 1979. After giving up his playing commitments, Bob became more involved in helping the expanding youth section of the club as a coach and age-group manager but also found time to raise much-needed funds as the 200-Club manager. In the early 1990s he started to reduce his involvement with youth cricket and to channel his support for the club, and his own love of the game, through umpiring, becoming the club’s regular Saturday 2nd XI umpire and maintaining that commitment into the new millennium. Fair-minded and unflappable he embodied what any and every league 2nd XI is looking for in an umpire.
 
That summarises Bob’s long and varied service to the club, but he will be remembered as much as anything for the quality of his company and quiet, and on occasion mischievous, good humour. He enjoyed the social element of playing, umpiring and watching and consistently maintained his support for the club, mostly on Sunday lunchtimes and often in the company of Ros, after his well-deserved retirement from his various commitments. “Much missed” can be an overdone statement in circumstances of loss but it is totally apposite in Bob’s case.  
 
The club are absolutely delighted to announce that Peter Smith and Trevor Woods have been appointed Life Members due to their outstanding service to Woking and Horsell Cricket Club over a number of years.
 
Peter served on the committee for the best part of thirty years before stepping down in 2019 following eight years as chairman. He also captained the third eleven for a number of years including their Championship win in 1999. Despite his break from playing in 2020 we hope he will be back bowling his leggies next season.
 
Trevor began on the committee as the Colts Chairman when son James was playing in our junior section. He also stepped down in 2019 from his role as Secretary having served alongside Peter during his time as Chairman. They formed a superb partnership carrying out hours of often unseen work for the club’s members. 
 
We owe them both a huge debt of gratitude for their outstanding hard work over so many years and congratulate both of them for their well deserved award.
Our first ever online AGM created few surprises on Thursday night, perhaps a nod to last year’s successful season despite the many challenges. 
 
Peter Murphy, however, has opted to stand down from his role as President following several decades in various roles on the W&H committee. He has been replaced by Billy Hargan. Peter was thanked by Keith Goodwin for his outstanding service.
 
The only other change for next season will see Ali Khan take over as the man in charge of the 3rdXI with Matt Allan becoming his vice captain. 
 
We wish everyone the best of luck in their new roles. 

The annual W&HCC AGM will take place on Thursday 10 December at 7.30pm and, for obvious reasons, will take place online via Zoom for the first ever time. Details of how you can join the call were sent out via newsletter on Saturday 5th December. Please check your junk folder if you haven't received it or contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you wish to join the call.

Despite the challenging circumstances that everyone has found themselves in during 2020, the club had a very good season with the first eleven winning their league, a significant number of new players joining us, and the junior section still thriving. Despite that, we are still looking for volunteers to help with various jobs that always need doing at a club like ours. If you would like to help out then please do contact our Chairman, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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