Words: Jill Stocks and Damon Sugden
Photos: Damon Sugden, Neil Allinson and Glenn Taylor Photography
It was perfect cricket weather as the sun shone on Pudsey St Lawrence Cricket Club when it hosted the House of Lords and House of Commons Cricket Club versus The Lord Taverners.
The charity match was part of a day of events to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the famous Headingley test match against Australia and raised money for Ian Botham’s Beefy’s Charity Foundation, as well as The Lord Taverners Charity and The Yorkshire Brain Tumour Charity.
Several cricketing celebrities were in attendance to support the event including Lord Botham, David Gower, Charlotte Edwards and Mike Gatting.
There was a good crowd in attendance for the free event as people took advantage of the lovely weather to enjoy the events on offer.
There were demonstrations of Wicketz and Super 1’s style cricket by the Lords Taverners, styles of the sport aimed at encouraging young people with a disability and from underprivileged backgrounds to take part.
This ran alongside ladies softball cricket, leading up to the twenty twenty match between the Lords Taverners and the Lords and Commons CC, whose team made up of members of both houses, including former health secretary Matt Hancock.
David Gower, President of the Lord Taverners, said:
“Thank you to everyone for being here on this gorgeous day at Pudsey St Lawrence. What a lovely day it’s been for cricket and both teams, so my thanks to the Lords and Commons and the Lord Taverners, for making half a game of it anyway… it was a very close for the first over or two.
“We’ve put out a team today that has obviously done the job, there’s a mixture of typical Taverners and some of our disability team are represented here too.
“There are so many things that the Lord Taverners do so well; the prime target of all our efforts is for disadvantaged children around the country.
“All our efforts are designed to get people into cricket and off the streets even including disabled people.
“Our disabled children play table cricket and they absolutely love it. That’s been one of our most successful programmes over the last decade. Any support we get from days like today is much appreciated and very special.”
Paying tribute to Pudsey St Lawrence Cricket Club, Mr Gower added:
“And to come to a ground which I’ve heard of for many, many years, and to see how beautiful it is and see and feel the spirit of cricket here, is equally special. So on behalf of the Lord Taverners thank you to both teams and everyone here for the effort.”
Pudsey St Lawrence Cricket Club President Tony Moss told WLD:
“The origins of the Taverners features supporting disadvantaged people through sport, and I think there is a really nice fit with us culturally. Especially focused on the youth and that side of the game, rather than just at the elite level.”
Dan Wals, from Pudsey St Lawrence Cricket Club, helped to organise the day. He added:
“StUart Andrew MP phoned me in the Spring saying that the Headingley dinner for the 40th anniversary of the Botham’s Ashes test match was later this year, and could PSLCC host this anniversary match.
“Stuart’s been to our Club for a number of events so he knows our heritage, and we are very proud to host it.
“It took three to four months of organising, put back obviously due to Covid extensions. Our ground is looking immaculate for end of season, so thank you to our volunteers for pulling out all the stops.”
The event was sponsored by Sunbelt Rentals and organised by former MP Andrew Bingham. Stuart Andrew, MP for Pudsey, said:
“I was thrilled when the team agreed to come to Pudsey to hold this special match and delighted that Pudsey St Lawrence were the hosts as it is such a famous club in the sport. From speaking to many of my colleagues I know how much they have been looking forward to it.
“Having Lord Ian Botham, David Gower and others there was great too and it was good to see that so many local people went to enjoy the match. This has been a great event for the town and for the superb charities that have benefited.
“Sadly, due to the fact the reshuffle was happening and I am the Deputy Chief Whip I wasn’t able to get away from Westminster – and to say I’m gutted to have missed it is an understatement.
“My thanks to Andrew Bingham and all the organisers for making it such a great day”.
Afternoon tea was provided by volunteers from The Yorkshire Brain Tumour Charity, one of the Beefy Foundation member charities. Nikki Hood is community fundraiser for the charity. She said:
“Pudsey St Lawrence Cricket Club were fantastic hosts for the day and could not have been more supportive of our charity.
“Our wonderful volunteers thoroughly enjoyed serving some cracking Yorkshire grub to all the MPs, cricketers and spectators, lovingly prepared by YBTC Cake Ambassador, Dawn; Moore’s Bakery in Horsforth; Bentley’s Butchers in Pudsey, Henshelwood’s Deli in York and Greggs Bakery in Stanningley.
“Everyone was so generous and in total £1,400 was raised on the day from cricket teas! This fantastic amount will help YBTC to invest in more research into making brain tumours a thing of the past and supporting families through the distress that a brain tumour diagnosis brings.”
The Lords Taverners is a charity formed in 1950 by a group of cricket fans and supported by many stars from the worlds of sport and entertainment over the years, with the aim of encouraging young people with disabilities and from underprivileged backgrounds to become a part of the sport and increase their potential.
Pudsey St Lawrence CC was formed in 1845 by the parish church of the same name “to improve and organise the leisure activities of young men in the parish”, with former players including Sir Leonard Hutton.