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PCA England Legends Player of the Summer nominates local club for donation.
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Ali Brown has awarded Banstead Cricket Club £2,000 as part of his prize in winning the 2023 PCA England Legends Player of the Summer award.
The Surrey great had a season to remember, finishing with a century in Jersey as the Legends helped to raise over £150,000 for local clubs and schools with the help of lead sponsors, Greene King, throughout the year.
For the first time in their partnership with the Legends, a donation of £2,000 was set aside for the outstanding player of the campaign to donate to a club of their choice.
Voted as the leading Legend in 2023 by his fellow players, Brown paid tribute to Banstead CC in Surrey. His relationship with the club exceeds 40 years and currently includes watching his son in their youth set-up.
A regular for the team of former England greats throughout the year, Brown impressed as the Legends competed in two tournaments and nine matches and was one of 30 former internationals that helped raise vital funds for the grassroots game.
The total amount raised by recreational clubs and schools has now surpassed £1.1 million since Greene King joined forces to sponsor the PCA England Legends in 2016.
The big-hitting batter was integral in every fixture he played, especially coaching young children ahead of the main event, and wanted the investment to support the community of Banstead which has previously seen Surrey captain Rory Burns come through the ranks.
Banstead has ambitious plans to create a new purpose-built pavilion that will bring the community even closer to the club, which contests their home games on the village green.
The current structure has been in situ since the early 1970s after the old Barclays bank building was transported from the high street and sits next to the side of the pitch.
However, the club has had a difficult two years with two of their most influential people within the organisation passing away. The loss of Chair Richard Condie and head of junior cricket Ray Watson is still being felt with both combining multiple roles over the years and Brown is hoping this donation is the start of a monumental fundraising effort to continue the excellent work of the two legends of the club.
"It’s not just for the club, it’s for the wider community.”
PCA England Legends Player of the Summer, Brown, said:
“Banstead has become a second home for me and my youngest son Joe who plays here and I’ve been lucky enough to be around people within the club that have made that experience for him over the past 15 years very special.
“I’m lucky thanks to the PCA and the Legends to have the opportunity to donate money via Greene King.
“I want to mention a couple of people that were very close to me who passed in the last couple of years, Richard and Ray, two people pivotal to the club who gave an awful lot over a long period of time.
“Those two men were outstanding stalwarts and I would like them to be recognised as part of the rebuild here and it’s not just for the club, it’s for the wider community.”
Banstead President, Nick Potter, said:
“We are absolutely delighted to receive this donation. Like all sports clubs, we are dependent on raising revenue on our own and any bonuses like Alistair’s are tremendous.
“We play on the village green so we want the club to embrace the whole of the community, just like when we run our fireworks night here in November – the whole of the village turns up.
“The commitment of the people that run the place is tremendous and I’ve been privileged to be part of it since 1971 so I have seen massive changes and all of them for the better.”
Banstead Director of Cricket, Neil Baker, said:
“A new pavilion would mean a lot to the club. When I joined Banstead in 2016, the thing I noticed compared to clubs I have played at previously is that this is the centre of the community on a Saturday afternoon.
“With our ground being a public area, there’s always so many people coming through and to have a facility we can hire out will be amazing for people to come down and use the club and be a real part of our community.
“We won Division One, which is the second tier in Surrey, this year and we are moving into the Premier League. We want to develop our own players and give them opportunities to play Premier League cricket. It’s going to be a step up but we have so much talent and there’s such a good spirit amongst those guys.”
The PCA England Legends will return in 2024 for another exciting season and if you are interested in hosting the former greats of county and country, get in touch by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can also find out more information on what it takes to host the Legends by clicking here.