THE 2015 season didn’t quite end in promotion for Chichester Priory Park but it was still a special summer for club veteran John Edwards.
The 48-year-old passed the 300-game milestone for the city outfit towards the end of their division-three programme.
Edwards made his CPP debut in 1991, playing first for the seconds but being quickly promoted to the firsts – where he has stayed for the 24 years since.
The wicketkeeper and batsman was part of the Chichester team who won the Sussex Premier title three times in a row in the 1990s and again in 2005, and was involved when they got to within one game of playing at Lord’s in a National Cup final, losing to Old Hill in front of a crowd of around 2,000.
Edwards admits he has tried to retire more than once, but has always ended up back in the team – and he doesn’t think his club-mates will allow him to retreat just yet either.
“I’ve had a terrific time playing for Chichester Priory Park. There have been ups and downs, of course, but it’s been a lovely club to be involved in and I’ve made so many friends.
“I’ve been lucky to play alongside some great players down the years - Neil Budden, Dan Bryant, Paul and Tim Hillier, Nick Dyer and Faz Akbal to name just a few. But just as important are the long-serving club guys who will turn out for whichever team needs them, week in, week out.”
Edwards believes he has scored around 3,000 runs and taken about 500 catches behind the stumps.
His 300th game was away to Rottingdean, where a couple of catches and a quick knock of 13 helped the team to a win. The milestone was then celebrated after the club’s next home game, when club stalwart Andy Barnes presented him with a framed photograph and other goodies.
A few days later, an MCC re representative, visiting for the club’s cricket week, made a further presentation to Edwards.
“I knew something was going on but I had no idea what,” he said. “It was nice to have the 300 games recognised – now I’ll have to see how many more I play!”
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