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Murf's the star in Thatcham charity match

Two pubs in charity game for Swings & Smiles

John Herring

John Herring

john.herring@newburynews.co.uk

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01635 886633

Murf's the star in Thatcham charity match

A CRICKET match between two Thatcham pubs, held in memory of a local businessman, has raised more than £1,000 for charity. 

The Crickets and The King’s Head went all out at Thatcham Town Cricket Club in memory of Nigel Beaumont on August 18. 

The King’s Head came out on top with what organisers said was a “slightly more youthful, skilful team”, topped off with The Crickets team “succumbing to too many beers” by the time they came out to bat. 

The match highlight was the four wickets taken in four consecutive balls by David ‘Murf’ Murphy of the King’s Head, who was named man-of-the-match for his extraordinary run.

Murf said he wanted to give local charity Swing & Smiles a mention, but added: “It was just a fun afternoon. We all had a good day out and we raised in order of £1,500.”

And those who went out for a duck, mostly from Murf, had to wear an inflatable duck costume in the spirit of the event. 

Organiser Billy Beaumont, Nigel’s son, said that the aim of the day was to raise as much money as possible for Swings & Smiles and to bring together local businesses and people.

He said: “The day was all about getting a bunch of ‘old gits’ together to have a laugh and a game of cricket whilst raising some funds for charity.

“When you get a group of 40-plus-year-old pub regulars together, playing the game for the first time since they left school, quality cricket playing was not high on the agenda, especially with the amount of beer involved. 

“I have to say a huge thank you to all the people that helped out on the day and to all the businesses that contributed some amazing raffle prizes.

“After this year’s success, we hope to be able to make this an annual event.

“The players and spectators all said how much they had thoroughly enjoyed the day and it was great to see community spirit at its best.”

Mr Beaumont said his father, who died in 2016, was a prominent member of Newbury Rugby Club who had helped set up a veterans team. 

He said: “I always wanted to do something in memory of him.

“He loved all sports, mainly rugby and golf, and most of all he enjoyed a good drink.” 

The match raised £1,376 for Thatcham-based charity Swings & Smiles through player subs, a raffle, barbecue, a sweet and cake stall and personal donations.

Mr Beaumont said the charity had been selected as it was local and everyone knew about its work.

Swings & Smiles manager Laura Lewis said: “This money has meant that Swings & Smiles have now reached their target on a project we have on The Good Exchange with Greenham Trust, who match the funds raised, meaning we now have the salary for a play leader for a year, which is huge news.”

Thatcham Town Cricket Club also benefited from the day, with a large amount of money taken over the bar as well as a £200 donation from the money raised to put towards a new mower.

Special mentions went to Thatcham Town Cricket Club and Chris and Emily Bird for running the busy bar, Malcolm Cook and Colin Slade for running the barbecue and Robinsons Food for its contribution.

Thanks also went to Mike Blizzard for the music, Newbury Bouncy Castles and Rosie, Lily and Elsie for running the cake and sweet stall.

Raffle prizes were donated by local financial adviser John Williams, Vapour Wise of Thatcham, Bella Luna, Chris Beaumont, Matt and Emma Smith and Vince – all generous Crickets regulars – Claire’s Health & Beauty, Blizz Graphics, Daniella at Belles Hair & Beauty Salon, Cheryl at Envy Beauty Salon, Helen Bellinger Sports Therapist, Matt and Jackey of The Crickets pub, McCarthy MOT Centre, Legends Hairdressers and SR Mobile Beauty.

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