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Anniversary Gala 'a great success'

Rainhill CC's 150th anniversary gala attracts hundreds

Rainhill Cricket Club's Anniversary Gala took place on Sunday afternoon and was a fantastic success.

Celebrating 150 years since Rainhill Cricket Club was initially founded in 1871, the gala was intended as a way of not only marking the anniversary but also reinforcing the club's role at the heart of the local community.

During the gala under 9s coach John Pearson - with help from Alex, Ollie and Ken - held fun coaching sessions for young people providing a taste of what the club regularly provides. Several new players signed up, and everyone involved enjoyed what was on offer - especially caterpillar cricket! Among the stallholders were representatives of local charities and businesses and there were various games on offer, some cricket related and some definitely not (including a giant, inflatable version of Twister). A face painter proved incredibly popular among younger attendees. The undoubted highlight of the afternoon was a rendition of Sweet Caroline, led by vocalist extraordinaire Mike Rotheram.

While the fantastic weather certainly helped, the number of people attending was still impressive. Several hundred people attended over the course of the day. Some were attending the club for the first time.

During the afternoon club captain Mike Rotheram was interviewed by Rainhill Rocks. He said: "This is a great attendance and I can't thank everyone enough - especially Rainhill Rocks for getting the word out. We've put on the gala a little bit to celebrate our 150th anniversary and a little bit to let the community know we're here... it's really about engaging the community. We provide for everyone, be it young children aged 5 and upwards, girls' cricket, boys' cricket, anyone who want to play high standard cricket all the way through to recreational cricket. "I'll be honest, we're also looking to raise money. We need a new scorebox and that's going to cost £15,000. But the main thing is community."

After the event Mike reflected that "we are really grateful for the support of Rainhill Community in making our gala a great success. Hundreds of families enjoyed the event which was helped by fine weather, good music and a friendly atmosphere. Many thanks to all the support we received from local businesses and charities with a special thanks to our main Club sponsor the Blue Mango.’

First team captain Ben Edmundson, who spent the day manning the barbecue with Alan Clarke and fellow players Liam O'Toole and Stuart Brown, said: "What a day… huge credit to Carlo and Graham for all their hard work! Without these two this event would have been a non-starter! One of the best days I have been involved in during my 19 years at the club!

Hopefully this can be a sign of things to come!"

Graham Powell, a member of the organising committee, added his personal thanks to a number of people: "Mike’s raconteur skills were superb in getting the energy going and spreading the name of Rainhill Cricket. Further thanks to Ben, Alan and Liam for their stamina at the BBQ, to John Pearson for the children’s enjoyment. Special thanks to Craig, Ryan and Andrew.

"In the background, we must recognise the important help provided by the younger players and parents alike. Final thanks to the ladies - Gayle, Susan, Andrea, Sue, Lindsey and many others not listed. "Away from fundraising what struck me was the feel good factor during the day, hinging the event around children and families was certainly the route to success!" More photographs of the gala can be found here.

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