Unsung heroes receive OSCAs recognition
Eight unsung heroes have been recognised for their contributions
to cricket in Gloucestershire by being awarded a Natwest OSCA (Outstanding
Services to Cricket Award).
The volunteers – who range in age from 17 to 73 – have been
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invited to Lords to celebrate their achievement at a star-studded ceremony in October.
The eight winners include five from Bristol and South Glos clubs and three from the rest of the county.
They were chosen from a record number of nominations
from clubs, leagues and associations.
Gloucestershire cricket development manager Steve Silk said:
"These awards celebrate the volunteers who work tirelessly to ensure the
success and survival of the grass roots game.
"Without these people it is fair to say that cricket and cricket
clubs simply would not survive.
"Reading the nominations it is inspiring to hear about the
selflessness and dedication of these individuals who give up huge amounts of
their time for the good of others.
"The Natwest OSCAs are really powerful way to thank them for this hard work and every one of the eight winners thoroughly deserves to receive this recognition for their efforts."
The winners include Tony Jilbert from St Stephens CC in Cheltenham, Andy Russell from Upton St Leonards and Ron Bomberg from Eastington CC.
For more on their achievements see below.
Tony Jilbert, (St Stephens CC, Cheltenham) Behind The Scenes Award
No club could exist without a committed groundsman and in Tony
Jilbert, St Stephens CC believe they are lucky enough to have the very best in
Nominating him for the Behind The Scenes Award, club colleague
Derren Brown said: "The term 'groundsman' doesn't do Tony justice. His
contribution is so much more than that. He's virtually a permanent fixture at
our ground throughout the year, whether working on the square or on the
A regular winner of the league's annual pitch award and the St
Stephens Clubman of the Year prize he also gives up his own time to improve the
facilities, organise fundraising events and host the annual awards night.
Derren said: "To top that, Tony is the most likeable and
enthusiastic person - popular with everyone. He carries out all of these duties
quietly, without any fuss or complaint, fitting them around his full-time job."
Andy Russell, (Upton St Leonards CC/Glos County Cricket
League/Gloucester Evening League/Cheltenham and Gloucester League), Leagues and
A man of many talents, Andy Russell has contributed to cricket in
Gloucestershire in an incredible variety of roles.
As well as being groundsman at his club Upton St Leonards, he is
also the organiser of the Gloucester Evening League, fixture secretary and
webmaster for the Gloucestershire County Cricket League and a qualified umpire.
But despite this almost endless list of commitments, Andy's
nomination for the League and Boards award has come for yet another of his many
GCCL chairman Brian Hudson said: "This nomination is specifically
for Andy's enthusiastic and highly professional approach to the establishment
of the new Cheltenham and Gloucester League."
Brian also praised Andy's use of technology.
He said: "Andy is an innovator, being an early adopter of the
internet to reduce the work of volunteer officials, influencing a redesign of
the fixture matrix and assisting with the development of the 2010 proposed
league restructure. The GCCL is recognised for the high quality of its
administration and Andy has been a key player in achieving this."
Ron Bomberg, Eastington CC/Stroud League, Lifetime Award
Since moving to the county and joining Eastington CC in 1967, Ron
Bomberg has transformed the club's fortunes both on and off the pitch.
And at the ripe old age of 73 is still no stranger to doing work
on the square.
But his long list of achievements for the club began back in 1972 when
he captained the first team to the Stroud League title.
Along with then chairman Tony Hulbert he was also the club's main
fundraiser, selling lottery tickets and playing a leading role in the
construction of a pavilion at their former ground in Stroud.
Never one to rest on his laurels, Ron was also integral to the
club's move to their current home at the Owen Harris Memorial Ground.
With substantial funds required to turn a farmer's field into a
community playing field Ron mobilised an army of waste paper collectors
throughout the village and beyond. He then persuaded a farmer to bale and store
the paper and sold it to a recycling company in order to start the money coming
As the project progressed Ron helped hand-build and erect a fence
to protect the M5 and joined the ground's board of trustees - eventually
A car accident towards the end of the last century led Ron to
reduce playing but rather than sit back and relax he took an umpiring course
Umpiring in the Stroud and County leagues he was twice voted GAGUS
umpire of the year before a back problem forced him to retire in his late 60s.
But once again he refused to take life easy and became one of the
first boundary umpire assessors, a job that he still does.