Colts History

Colts cricket started in the 1950s when L J (“Spud”) Russell organised games during the school holidays against the leading clubs in the area. There were probably around seven or eight fixtures each summer and the sides were a mixture of school colts (under 16) and members of the school senior teams. The standard of cricket was high and gave an opportunity for younger players to make a mark. Most players played also for the Club’s Saturday sides. These arrangements continued for over thirty years until there was a gradual realisation that other clubs were acquiring the services of Whitgift boys to play age group games throughout the season. We were losing out as a club.

Thanks to close links with Cumnor House School and its then Headmaster Duncan White and cricket coach Martyn Cook, we started a colts section in the late 1980s with a view to playing competitive fixtures at a range of ages. The Club enjoyed immediate success with wins in the Purley tournament for under 12s, in Surrey competitions for under 13, 15 and 16s and in the new North East Surrey leagues, which brought together junior teams from most of the leading local clubs. We had stars like Richard Nowell, Gary Butcher and David Sales that enabled us to dominate colts’ cricket in the early 1990s. We won many festivals, league titles and cups, the most notable being the national under 13 cup in 1992 when the devastating power and skill of David Sales was supported by an exceptionally talented team. We were twice Surrey under 16 cup winners, once winning the final by 10 wickets, and narrowly missed out on winning the national under 15 club cup.

The whole of the 1990s was an exceptional time for OW junior cricket: many fine players developed their skills in the matches on Friday evenings and Sunday mornings. Although it was a headache organising as many as nine teams a week, there was enthusiastic support from parents as well as boys. By the late 1990s, however, it was time for a new beginning as the principal organiser, Nigel Platts, recognised that he was now old enough to be the players’ grandfather. With a mixture of gratefulness and regret, for it was a large part of his life for more than ten years, Nigel handed over to a new and increasingly successful regime.

Currently the club operates a vibrant colts section, with 12 year groups and over 250 boys and girls of all standards enjoying a summer’s cricket with us. Over the past few years the colts section has seen vast improvement in its organisation with a more structured coaching set up which has seen vast improvements in its performances with head coach Brian Berthoud who is regarded very highly throughout the club and is used to working with young players. Brian works along side David Ward Head of Cricket at the School.

Current on the field notable performances are the clubs U16’s who won the 2009 Dennis Jacobs cup as the best team in Surrey, several of our boys have gone onto represent the club at adult level including playing in the 1st team players and in the Surrey Trust league, a new form of cricket played in coloured clothing which helps the colts transition into adult cricket.