Former England players helped Belvoir Cricket Club pay tribute to late umpire Vic heppenstall with a special memorial match last Friday.
The T20 match to celebrate Vic’s life featured prolific international spinner Graeme Swann, and his former captain at Nottinghamshire Darren Bicknell, as well as Simon Oakes and Matthew Dowman.
A plaque was unveiled before the match by family members to formally name the newly-christened Vic Heppenstall End of the Knipton ground.
Former England batsman James Taylor, from Burrough-on-the-Hill, also popped by and signed copies of his new book Cut Short.
The event raised £1,100 for St Barnabas Hospice, in Grantham, and Marie Curie Cancer Research through a cake stall, raffle and ice cream sales.
Vic’s son Neil said: “We wanted it to be primarily a celebration of dad’s love of cricket and the people involved in it rather than just a fundraiser.
“On behalf of Bunty and all of Vic’s family we just wanted to say a massive thank-you to everyone who was involved on Friday evening whether as an organiser, helper, donator of cakes and raffle prizes, player, spectator or friend of Vic.”
The local league umpire was heavily involved with Belvoir CC for many years and regularly officiated feature matches at Knipton, particularly those for the Belvoir Castle Ctricket and Countryside Trust.
Fittingly, a Belvoir XI, which included 10 of the current First XI squad, was pitted against a Vic Heppenstall XI, put together by club chairman Andy Dann. Belvoir won the toss and invited the ‘visitors’ to bat in front of a 200-plus crowd.
Dowman (65 retired) put the hammer down straight away, scoring 23 off his first 10 deliveries, while Bicknell (58 retired) followed a quieter opening with a string of mighty blows, including 27 runs in a nine-ball onslaught.
Both completed half-centuries in fewer than 40 balls before retiring.
Bowlers Phil Irvine and Danny Gibson slowed the run rate temporarily before Swann (21) and Danny Ross got things going again to keep the run-rate at a steady nine per over.
At the end, Sam Penford had Swann well caught by Joe Bottomley in a tight spell of 2 for 23 as Vic’s XI finished on an imposing 183-3.
Olly Clayfield crafted a neat 42 in Belvoir’s reply, scored at a run-a-ball, while at the other end Jake Fisher (18) smacked four boundaries in an 11-ball cameo.
At the latter’s demise, Tom Neville strode to the crease and bludgeoned a 24-ball half-century on his way to 64, a knock which included eight fours and three sixes.
Neville shared a fourth-wicket partnership with Lewis Dann (30 from 19 balls), and Chris Dobbie finished it off with consecutive fours to win the game for Belvoir (185-4) by six wickets with eight balls to spare.