Memorial match for Uckfield cricket star

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A YEAR after their longest-serving club chairman lost his battle with leukaemia, cricketers of Uckfield Anderida will remember John Morton with a special memorial cricket match at 1pm on Sunday, August 26.

John Morton was 62 when he died on August 25 last year eight days after doctors told him he would not survive his fight.

A decade earlier he had recovered from oesophageal cancer and worked in the town as a driving instructor.

Remaining fit throughout his illnesses, he raised thousands doing charity walks including joining up with England spinner and TV personality Phil Tufnell in 2004.

Club spokesman Peter Holman added: “John raised several thousand pounds-worth of sponsorship for the club over the years and was a dedicated committee member along with his wife Jennie.”

John’s youngest son, Kevin, who has taken up the mantle as chairman of Uckfield Anderida Cricket Club, said: “As it transpired he had a very rare form of leukaemia and spent two years fighting it. He had stem cell transplant, several bouts of therapy and as many pills as you can imagine.”

The match is being held at the Victoria Pleasure Ground. It will be contested, after a presentation, between the club’s current squad and a President’s XI comprising ex-players who played under Mr Morton.

John’s 31-year-old son said: “It should be a great day for the club. Dad was a well respected patron of Uckfield Anderida and he meant a lot to many players. We have undergone a lot of changes in the last yea losing a few players and dropping down to Division Three of the East Sussex League but we hope lots of people from the town will visit us on the day.”

In the spirit of John’s fondness for fundraising, a raffle will raise cash for St Wilfrid’s Hospice, whose staff cared for Mr Morton at his home. The club will also accept any donations to the charity on the day.

TV star and cricket legend Phil Tufnell joined John’s 90-mile walk along the A272 and attending a fundraising dinner. John raised money for The Royal Marsden Cancer Campaign, Radio Marsden fm and Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust. Phil Tufnell said: “I was only too willing to give my support to this courageous man, and join him and his team for part of their journey as they did mine”.