Is it all over for Winslow Town Cricket Club?

Rupert Litherland, chairman of Winslow Town Cricket Club
Rupert Litherland, chairman of Winslow Town Cricket Club

The chairman of Winslow Town Cricket Club has issued a SOS plea after the team, which has been running for 129 years, was forced to fold.

The club closed down last week because too few players are registered, finances are in ruins and the groundsman has quit.

But chairman Rupert Litherland thinks the club can be brought back to life if the right people are keen to rebuild it.

He said: “If, suddenly, we find half a dozen cricketers, we might be able to revive it – I live in hope.

“But we’ve been looking at these problems for two years now.

“I’ve been ringing around clubs asking if any of their youngsters are not getting a match and would come and play for us.”

Mr Litherland thinks cricket across the UK is in a sorry state and he half-expects a supermarket to be built on Winslow Town’s Elmfields Gate pitch in the next few years.

He said: “Camaraderie, team loyalty, ‘stickability’, sportsmanship and commitment are dying.

“And cricket at grassroots level is dying with it.

“Playing with fewer than 11 competent players and being fined for trying hard to keep going is just not cricket.

“It is exasperating. No wonder the youngsters are 
drifting away.

“Pray it be to whoever you are. Step forward, take up the challenge.

“Winslow Town doesn’t need a supermarket. It needs sports facilities.”

On several occasions over the past two seasons, the club has been forced to field just 10 cricketers.

The club took a £50 hit for conceding a match and was even asked to fork out half of the cost of the opponents’ 
uneaten sandwiches.

Expenditure has been £1,000 more than income for the past two years and the long-standing square and wicket groundsman is not 
prepared to continue.

Eight members turned up to the emergency general meeting and voted by a majority of five to two - with one abstention - that the club should fold.

But Mr Litherland is keen to hear from anyone who might be able to help the club get up and running again.

Despite ‘limited funds’, there is kit, maintenance equipment and a ‘fine ground’ for anyone willing to save the club.

If you are able to help, email Mr Litherland at rupertlither