150 Not Out book launch. Pictured (from left to right) are Cllr Kate Stevenson (Independent, Rainhill), Cllr James Tasker (Independent, Rainhill), Andrew Page (General Editor), Peter Mercer (Rainhill CC President) and Frank Davies (former Rainhill CC chairman and 1st team captain)
The long-anticipated launch of 150 Not Out took place at Rainhill library yesterday evening.
The book, which documents the club's long history and takes a look at the 2021 season through a series of "tales" from the perspectives of various teams and individuals, is the product of six months of work from Rainhill CC communciations officer Andrew Page and the editorial team at Inspire Creatives.
150 Not Out captures the highs and lows of the club's 150th anniversary season, both on and off the pitch. With over 175 professional-quality photographs, statistical data, league tables and contributions from some of the great characters at the club, the book is a "must read" for anyone associated with Rainhill or who enjoys grassroots cricket.
Speaking at the event, Andrew Page explained that he had been motivated to compile to book to do "something special but unique" to mark the club's anniversary. He said that, while he was partly writing for posterity, he also wanted to give the club and the community something in which they could take great pride. Andrew also indicated that he was motivated in part by the desire to demonstrate just how inclusive a club Rainhill CC has become, hence the series of "tales" telling the story of all the teams from the under 9s to the first team, and from the women's teams to the Sunday recreational team. It also gives a voice to the many unsung heroes - the volunteers and supporters - who are the lifeblood of community cricket clubs such as Rainhill.
150 Not Out is dedicated to John Pearson - the club's former coach, treasurer, committee member, All-Stars activator and umpire - who died suddenly earlier this year. Andrew spoke about John's enormous contribution to the club, but noted that what set John apart was the kind of person he was. "John was the type of person everyone wants at their cricket club", he said. "he loved the game and he loved life, and his infectious enthusiasm inspired so many young people to enjoy the game of cricket."
Club president Peter Mercer also spoke at the well-attended event. He praised the quality of the publication, especially the photographs, and explained how a germ of an idea developed into a "fantastic book". He thanked the library for hosting the launch and also paid his own tribute to John Pearson.
It was a double book launch as former 1st team captain and club chairman Frank Davies was also present to introduce his book, Rainhill Cricket Club Reflections. In Reflections, Frank recounts his own career at Rainhill in the 1960s and 1970s and recalls some of the players and members who made such enormous contributions to the club's successes down the years. Frank talked about the need to respect and understand our history and to value the experiences and memories of previous generations. There had been no books written on Rainhill Cricket Club in 150 years until now - and then two come along at once! Both are historically valuable in different respects, and will hopefully be widely appreciated. Copies of both books were donated to the local library.
Several copies of the book were sold on the night. Among the attendees was Andrew Finney, the club's scorer of 50 years, and two Rainhill councillors: Kate Steveneson and James Tasker.
Following the launch, 150 Not Out and Rainhill Cricket Club Reflections are now on general sale. They can be purchased from the Inspire Publishing website, from The Book Stop in St Helens, at the club on matchdays, on ebay or by contacting Andrew at email@example.com