Chippingdale Cricket Club pay tribute to Paul Baker - stalwart served club for 50 years

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Chippingdale Cricket Club chairman and club stalwart Paul Baker has sadly passed away after a short illness.

All at the club have been left stunned by the devastating news of Paul’s passing.

Paul’s association with Chipps began as a 14-year-old in 1973, and after a glittering playing career, spanning over 600 matches (scoring over 18,000 runs and taking nearly 400 wickets), he has spearheaded the club as chairman since 2008 and as Club Secretary for an incredible 40 years.

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Under his tenure, Chipps have grown to become a major club in Worthing, running three Saturday sides, achieving Clubmark Accreditation in 2007, and securing funding for the two-bay cricket nets and artificial wicket in 2012.

Paul BakerPaul Baker
Paul Baker

It is Paul’s involvement – alongside wife Carol’s – in the Chipps junior section, however, that has left such an indelible mark on so many young boys and girls.

When the club was going through a player shortage in 1994, Paul and club colleague Jerry White started the Chipps Colts initiative, with both players qualifying as coaches, and started up a 13-16 year olds section.

Over the years, this Colts section has flourished, generating many hundreds of players for Chipps, including current club captain Josh Bourne.

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Paul and Carol continued to introduce the very youngest of players to cricket, running a soft-ball U10s team for nearly 20 years, and introducing the ECB All Stars and Dynamos programme to five to 11-year-olds in 2022.

Their enthusiastic and fun training sessions have been enjoyed by many children and parents alike.

Paul’s selfless passion for cricket, and helping others, led to Chipps introducing a breakfast networking club in 2013 alongside Paul Wood, supporting local charities.

He played a major part in Chipps being recognised as Sussex Sports Club of the Year in 2010. He received an Outstanding Service to Cricket Award (OSCA) and he also took a sabbatical from work to work with Sussex County Cricket Club.

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However, his proudest moments were seeing daughter Hayley come through the Colts system, playing for Sussex junior age groups, and then as captain of the first Chipps Ladies team. In latter years, he was also able to enjoy the success of grandson Harri, who now plays for the Chipps adult team.

Paul is survived by wife, Carol, children Hayley and Scott, and grandson, Harri.

Paul’s funeral will be at Worthing Crematorium, 1pm, Wednesday, February 28. A reception afterwards will be held at Cissbury Barns, Nepcote. Please email Chippingdale Cricket Club on [email protected] if you wish to attend the funeral and/or reception.