DARLEY Dale Cricket Club stalwart Richard Johnson has had over half a century’s association with the club recognised by winning the Lifetime Achiever award.
This happened at the recent Derbyshire Cricket Board Reward and Recognition event, part of the NatWest OSCA programme (Outstanding Service to Cricket Awards).
As a result of winning the county award, Richard now goes forward to the National Awards, to be held at Lord’s next month.
Richard has been involved with the club as a player and official for 55 years. As well as opening the batting for the firsts, he also captained the seconds, playing for Derbyshire seconds and, at various times, has been chairman, vice-chairman, match secretary, vice-president’s secretary and organiser of many social and fundraising events. He has also been club caretaker, taking the lead on maintenance, security and repairs, as well being a prime mover in obtaining grants for club developments.
Richard explained: “The committee decided to nominate me and all the nominees in all the categories went to the County Ground on the day of the recent Derbyshire/Sussex day-night game. It was an excellent day with good hospitality.
“I was happy to be nominated and was a little surprised to win the category but it was good to do so.
“The really good thing is that all the regional winners go through to the national final, to be held at Lord’s on October 22 so I’m really looking forward to that.
“I am Darley born and bred, started off when I was ten in the seconds and went on to play with my dad and brother. I retired from playing at the age of 60, when I was playing for the seconds again
“I was involved with Darley Dale CC when we went through a really good spell in the 70s and 80s where we were in the top division and won the league, the league cup and the Derbyshire Cup.
“Then quite a lot of players left in a short space of time and there was a bit of a down period but it’s picked up again and it’s a really positive time at the club. There’s a real community feel here and I’m delighted to be a part of that.”