When England cricket stars helped Bognor transform its club

You’ve heard of cricket’s Barmy Army – what about the Bognor Army? More than 240 volunteers, including England players past and present, turned out to transform Bognor Regis Cricket Club for the new season in 2011.

The day, a major part of a nationwide Cricketforce scheme run by the ECB and backed by NatWest, was hailed a great success and included a new Cricketforce record being set as a team painted more than 200m of fencing – 98 panels – in 22 minutes 15 seconds.

Other jobs included installation of an electronic scoreboard and scorer’s hut, new umpires’ changing areas, landscaping work including the planting of new trees plus general tidying-up and renovating of the club inside and out.

Ex-England captain Mike Gatting was a popular draw, as was pace bowler Chris Tremlett, who had helped England retain the Ashes that winter. Sussex and England women’s cricket ace Holly Colvin, from Middleton, was also there to lend a hand, as was former Sussex spinner and ex-MCC present John Barclay, and Sussex seamers Chris Liddle and Jordan Rollings.

Ready for the start of play: Bognor’s army of volunteers take a break from transforming the facilities. Picture: Chris Hatton

The day was hailed a fantastic success, giving the club a huge lift and organisers said the effort resulted in about £60,000 of work being done.

Mike Gatting meets Bob Burns, the club's oldest member at the time and father of chairman Bernard. Picture: Chris Hatton
England duo Holly Colvin and Chris Tremlett get stuck in. Picture: Chris Hatton
Bonnie Long, two, dad Ben and Hadley, six, joined forces with mum Emma. Picture: Chris Hatton