In the latest of this season’s Thursday features, Gary Heatly finds out about a special upcoming match…
Teams from WDCU clubs Ferguslie andClydesdale will be meeting at the former’s Meikleriggs ground on Sunday, September 5 (1pm start) in a charity match which will be played for the for ‘The Spirit of Cricket’ trophy in memory of former players Sandy Strang and Con de Lange.
Both men played for both clubs over the years, so it is fitting that XIs made up of current and former players will come together to celebrate the great men that they were and raise funds for Marie Curie and the Brain Tumour Charity.
When Sandy passed away in 2017, just before his 66th birthday, due to pancreatic cancer it came as a massive shock to many in Scottish cricketing circles who had got to know him over the years.
As well as a fine player, he was also well-known for his public speaking and many of us can remember great tales he told at dinners.
And when Con passed away aged 38 in 2019 following a brain tumour it was a very dark day for the sport in this country.
The South African-born all-rounder had, in the years leading up to the start of his illness in 2017, become a key man in the international men’s squad and was a close friend and mentor to members of the squad who still play for Scotland today.
He played the game in the right spirits and was often seen passing on tips to younger players in a calm and considered manner, he just loved the game. The fact that he took so much pride in captaining Scotland says all you need to know about the man.
The duo also had a great friendship and, over their careers, won silverware with both Ferguslie and Clydesdale and represented both clubs with distinction.
Since Con’s passing 28 months ago, Ferguslie have been in discussion with Clydesdale about fielding an XI for this inaugural new annual event to mark the duo’s careers, but the pandemic meant that any such gathering had to be delayed.
With restrictions now easing, it means that friends, family, old team mates and opponents and admirers of Sandy and Con will now be able to head to Paisley in a couple of weeks time to remember them fondly and watch what should be a cracking match between a Ferguslie XI and a Clydesdale XI.
As well as some current players, there are rumours that we will see some retired ‘greats’ getting their whites back on again and it should all make for a very fun afternoon.
There will be a fundraising raffle on the day with all proceeds going to Marie Curie and the Brain Tumour Charity.
Ferguslie’s Cricket Convenor Tim Preston-Jones said: “We are grateful to our former Club Captain and Honorary Vice-President Duncan Forrest who has very kindly donated ‘The Spirit of Cricket’ trophy.
“Duncan was a former school friend and adversary of Sandy, and met Con many times, both here and in South Africa, when visiting from Australia.
“We miss Sandy and Con, there were many great times they had together and we hope that the inaugural ‘The Spirit of Cricket’ trophy match will be a fitting tribute to both.
All friends, players, non-players and spectators will be most welcome on the day and we really want it to be a celebration of their lives and a lot of fun whilst also raising vital funds for charity.”
If you cannot make it on the day, but wish to donate money to the two charities please contact Tim directly on firstname.lastname@example.org