Cricket Club comes together in memory of two team legends

On Sunday 2nd June, past and present players of Maresfield Cricket Club came together to play a special inter club game in memory of 2 long standing legends of the club, Bob 'Thommo' Thompson and Ian 'Goggy' Bennett.

The club were honoured to welcome Bob and Ian's wives, Denne Thompson and Jackie Bennett, and lots of family and friends of both men to the ground for what was a fantastic celebration of two gentlemen, who both sadly passed away in late 2023.

Bob joined Maresfield CC back in 1974, and played for 40 years, and was part of the club's side which won the East Sussex Cricket League Division 1 title in 1979. Bob was the club President after he hung up his bat and pads, and had previously been Treasurer, and Junior Coach.

Ian never played for the club, but has been involved with the club since the early 80s when his son Matt started playing, and as well as supporting Matt over the years, Ian was also club Chairman for a number of years, and also ran the Mini Mares Juniors with Bob.

According to a club spokesperson: “Both at the club and away from it, Bob and Ian were best friends, a friendship which started as rivals on the football pitch back in the 70s, and football remained a common connection through their lives as they both had season tickets together at their beloved Brighton and Hove Albion.

“Family and Maresfield Cricket Club were so important to both Bob and Ian, and Sunday's game which saw so many people enjoying themselves whilst watching the cricket at the picturesque Maresfield Cricket Ground would have made both of them so happy. Cricket has been played in Maresfield since 1756, a history that Ian documented in a book for the club's 250th anniversary in 2006, and to see it continuing like this and being so well supported, was a dream of his.”

The cricket itself saw Team Bennett captained by Ian's son Matt, taking on Team Thompson captained by Stuart Chappell. Team Bennett won the toss and elected to bowl first in the 25 over a side game.

Team Thompson scored 146 in their overs with Pete Morris scoring 36, and Doug Ruthven 30. Dave Whitlock was pick of the bowlers for Team Bennett taking 2 for 6 from his 2 overs.

Between the innings, another long standing club member, and friend of Bob and Ian, Derek Barnard paid tribute to both of them and a minute's applause was held in their memory.

In their reply, Team Bennett lost a couple of early wickets, but Malcolm Smith with 33, and Chris Vacher with 28 kept them in the hunt for victory right up to the final over, but Team Thompson captain Chappell took 3 wickets for 7 runs in that final over to give Team Thompson a 12 run win.

The spokesperson added: “Maresfield Cricket Club is honoured that Bob and Ian have been part of the club for so long, and are proud that the legacy of 2 wonderful men was able to live on on such a lovely afternoon at the ground they both called home, with so many people there enjoying the afternoon.”