Bernard Feist pays tribute to another former Merstham
Cricket Club chairman, Graeme Attridge, who died on
It is with great sadness that we report the passing of Graeme
Attridge (Mr A) on Sunday 22nd May.
Until recently, Graeme was the backbone of the club and had been
since joining in the early 1980s.
Graeme passed away on Sunday afternoon, at the same time
Merstham were playing their memorial game against Mogador
Wanderers. In a strange way, it could be said that this was fate,
as Graeme had been involved in diverse ways with the development of
several players on both sides and several of the spectators were
enquiring of him.
Through his role as Sunday second team captain - where he was
known as the old man with the beard, with quite strong views on
standards, no body piercings, no tattoos, and shirts tucked in - he
encouraged our few junior players at the time to play at senior
level. He was also quite a talented player himself and I recall him
scoring a ton at the Ring when it was Redhill's ground.
Graeme's annual barbecues were famous social events
With the need to develop junior players, to help set the
foundation of today's club, Graeme became the junior manager, when
we had only two sides.
The club - recognising that his management and hospitality
skills, along with his many local influential contacts, would be an
asset to the club - elected him as vice chairman at the end of the
Regarding is hospitality skills. Some of us may recall the
excellent annual barbecues that were held at the time. Particularly
good steaks, all the trimmings including tables with white
tablecloths set out on the outfield. All of this in facilities that
were not a patch on today's.
At the same time with his trade contacts the bar started selling
drinks other than beer and ladies started feeling they could have a
This was a tough time for the club with little money, poor
facilities, and few members.
With his business skills, Graeme was a great support to the
chairman as they started to rebuild the club and set it on the road
to today's strong financial footing.
He was a great support as we did battle with the ECB and the
council, to get the finance and permission in place for the
facilities that we all enjoy now.
His involvement in this will always be on show with the picture
of him and the then England Ladies captain, Charlotte Edwards. This
was taken when his and the club's achievements were rewarded by us
becoming the ECB Cricket Force showcase club.
His enthusiasm for the club did not falter and when he became
chairman, he put effort into finding a permanent home for the third
and fourth teams - the Ring. This included having to again pursue
the ECB and Council to ensure that this facility was acquired.
The Fuller's League also recognised his ability and skills and
he became their vice chair and chairman of the discipline
Many of you will recall Graeme operating the bar on what became
- and remains - busy Friday junior training nights. This is a long
way from having just two sides that set the foundation for this
thriving youth section.
In short, Graeme was sociable - most ladies were greeted with a
kiss, gents with a handshake. His management skills helped set the
foundation of where we are today. And he had a hand in developing
several of today's committee.
I and the club will miss him.