In October 2021, six inspirational winners of the LV= Insurance Pride of Cricket Awards were announced. The awards were given out in recognition of their outstanding commitment to the grassroots game.
Organised by The Cricketer and supported by LV= Insurance, the awards aim to highlight the best that amateur cricket has to offer. There were six categories open for nomination this year.
After careful deliberation and voting by the cricketing public, six incredible individuals were chosen for their heart-warming stories and firm commitment to grassroots cricket:
- LV= Insurance Pride of Cricket Award: Steve Fletcher, Whitley Hall CC
- LV= Insurance Club Hero: Jim Burroughs, Billingshurst CC
- LV= Insurance Fundraising Hero: Joe Lunn, Sutton CC
- LV= Insurance Media Hero: Simon Trott, Overton CC
- LV= Insurance Community Hero: Simon Jackson, Whitfgift School, ACE
- LV= Insurance Young Hero: Henry Dummott, Corsham CC
The Pride of Cricket Award
The Pride of Cricket Award, given to those who have made a consistent and considerable impact on the game during their lifetime, was won by Steve Fletcher of Whitley Hall CC in Yorkshire.
Steve has committed his heart and soul to running and developing his cricket club, and has undertaken a variety of roles there throughout his life – everything from president to women’s team coach and even manager of the bar!
An integral part of the Whitley Hall community, Steve received the second most votes of any nominee across all six award categories.
His clubmate, Joe Webster, had this to say about him: “It would take eight of us to replace him.
“Steve is Whitley Hall CC. He epitomises the club, what we are, how we go about things, and he is there for everything and everyone.
“He’s coached juniors, he ran the senior side, he runs the bar single-handedly and has done for as long as I can remember.
“His is a passion that’s natural, you don’t teach it. It’s a natural love of the game.”
Steve has taken a leading role in the development of youth cricket, affecting the lives of hundreds of kids in his area, including a young Joe Root! The England captain said this about Steve:
“For as long as I can remember, you’ve been the heartbeat of South Yorkshire cricket. I’m extremely grateful for all that you do for cricket in our region. I know how much the guys appreciate you.”
The LV= Insurance Club Hero award
The LV= Insurance Club Hero award went to Jim Burroughs, formerly a member of Billingshurst CC in West Sussex.
Jim played a central role in the club’s move to new facilities, and was chairman for many years. He only gave up his duties this year as he dealt with cancer.
Jim sadly passed away on August 12, after the nomination for the Pride of Cricket Awards had been made. His family asked for his name to stay in the nomination list, and Jim went on to win the public vote by a considerable margin.
“He had a real passion about people and he wanted people to experience the best they possibly could at a cricket club,” Billingshurst chairman Jon Alexander said.
“Groundsman, coach, committee member, local councillor… there are a lot of roles he’s done.
“He had a determination and stubbornness which made sure he got what he wanted.”
As a testament to his importance within the Billingshurst community, the club has renamed its ground in his honour: the Jim Burroughs Oval.
“That will be a lasting memory for anyone who goes there: whether it’s cricketers, dog walkers, fitness people or footballers. I think that’s quite poignant for the future and for every member of Billingshurt past and present.”
The LV= Insurance Fundraising Hero award
It was Joe Lunn who won the LV= Insurance Fundraising Hero award. Joe’s incredible and inspiring fundraising achievements after having been diagnosed with a terminal illness were duly recognised by the public, leading to him receiving this award posthumously. He received the most votes of any nominee this year.
The Sutton CC wicketkeeper-batsman passed away in March following a battle with a rare cancer.
Joe’s heroic efforts riding a static bike in his garden in August 2020 raised over £16,000, with more than £35,000 having been raised since then in his name. This year, five of his teammates took on the London Marathon for his chosen charity, Rays of Sunshine.
Sam Schofield, Joe’s teammate at Sutton, said: “It was basically Joe saying: ‘what’s going to be really hard, and how can I do it?’
“He never backed down from anything, and was always one you’d want on your side. He was always up for a bit of a battle and that was definitely how he took on his illness.”
The LV= Insurance Media Hero award
Simon Trott of Overton CC in Hampshire was the winner of the LV= Insurance Media Hero award.
Simon has played a leading role in revolutionising Overton’s digital presence, introducing livestreams, match highlights and podcasts, and has promoted the club in an engaging way across social media.
As a result of his work, the club has had three times as many participants for youth initiatives than usual, as well as a multitude of new recruits to the senior sides. This means Overton can continue to field three adult teams.
“I don’t believe there are that many clubs, especially around us in Hampshire, that have someone like Simon,” Overton chairman Ian Clarke said.
“He is thinking not of how what he is doing can benefit him but how it can benefit what comes next - his children - and the sport of cricket.”
The LV= Insurance Community Hero award
Simon Jackson was awarded the LV= Insurance Community Hero award for his work at Whitgift School as well as with the ACE programme.
Jackson, the academy head coach at Whitgift, came up with the idea to use the Whitgift facilities for ACE work. He has played a massive role in engaging young people from a wide range of backgrounds with cricket.
“He’s bringing the outside to us,” Hina Ghumra of Whitgift School said. “We’re a really diverse community and he’s taken what we can offer and married it with what he’s doing outside.”
The LV= Insurance Young Hero
The LV= Insurance Young Hero award went to eleven-year-old Henry Dummett, who managed to raise over £2000 for Corsham CC in Wiltshire.
Inspired by his learning about altruism and charity at school, Henry put on a sponsored bowlathon, doing all the promotional work himself before bowling unchanged for 100 minutes on three consecutive days.
“What’s very significant about it is that we’ve been telling him how proud we are but this really validates it,” his aunt, Belle Mayo, said.