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THE BRIDGE TRUST SOCIETY

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HGSOB FC History, by Philip Swann        

BRIDGE TRUST OLD BOYS CRICKET CLUB 

 

The Bridge Trust School opened in 1862 and a Cricket Club for Old Boys of the School operated for a few seasons in the early 1900’s. No records exist of this period.

 

After the 2nd World War, in 1948, the then Secretary of the Old Boys Society, Ray Grove sent a circular to all members proposing the reformation of the Cricket Club. A meeting was held on the 4th of May 1948 and the Cricket Club was formed (using the original name, despite the School’s name changing to Handsworth Grammar School). A few matches were played in that first season and amongst the players was a young D.Blackborow who was still playing occasionally 52 years later in the early 2000s.

 

The Club’s early pioneers were Ray Grove, George Griffiths, Sid Lucas, Les Ashmore, Eric Yeomans and Tony Blewitt all of whom took part in administrative duties as well as playing.

 

The Club grew stronger throughout the next two decades with the influx of players like Dave Matthews who scored the Club’s first century and 20 years later became the first bowler to take 100 wickets. He also captained the side for many years. Dave Matthews, Malcolm Willets and John Lucas all represented the M.C.C.C. while at the Club.

 

With the advent of league cricket, under the captaincy of R.Clayton, the Club had its most successful decade. From 1974 to 1985, the first team won the Warwickshire and Staffordshire League 5 times and the second team won its division twice. It also played World Cup warm up matches against Argentina and Israel at Romilly Avenue, the Club’s home ground.

 

However, when the teams broke up due to age and the lack of players from the school, the Club moved down the divisions of the Warwickshire League. This despite the efforts of the players such as Simon Cross, who still averages over 50 after 20 seasons, and other stalwarts of the 90’s, Chris Flanagan, Alex Smith and James Hendry.

 

The club at one time went down to a single side, but is now strengthening again and, with renewed vigour, runs 2 teams each Saturday and Sunday under the capable leadership of Glenn Humphries, Mandeep Sehmi, Charlie Horrell, Chris Hinton and Joe Bird.

 

2012