John Smith – Thank You!

Dulwich Cricket Club’s Annual General Meeting held last Thursday (15th November) truly signalled the end of an era. After 32 years at the helm John Smith has stood down as President of Dulwich Cricket Club.

John has joked (we think) many times over the years of his wish to step down as President but, over the last 12 months, this has become a reality. Partly due to his health issues, but also he felt it the right time. After 32 years, who could argue with that. All through his time John has stressed the honour and pleasure that the role has given him.

It has hard to put in to words the impact and contribution John has made to the Club. He has led it through some difficult times in the past and I know that he is pleased that he has stepped down when the Club is in a stronger position than it has been for many years. Not only has John been a leading light within the Cricket Club, he has also made significant contributions over the years to the wider Dulwich Sports Club. In addition, John was instrumental in the establishment of the Southwark Community Sports Trust which gives our Club a fantastic facility on our doorstep. Outside of this John was at the forefront of the establishment of the 4th XI league within the Surrey Championship.

Through all his time as President he has led us with honesty, diligence, humour as well as a lot of hard work much of which takes place behind the scenes and goes unnoticed by many. He has been a regular, familiar face in the bar always having an interest in the performances of the teams and individuals, and making new players feel welcome. John has also been a regular on a number of Dulwich Cricket Club overseas tours and smaller ones within the UK.

At Committee level he has kept the Club focused on the priorities and always looking to how we can improve, whilst making everyone who gives up their time feel involved and valued.

I am sure that many players and associates of Dulwich Cricket Club past and present will join me in thanking John for everything, and to wish him all the very best for the future. Thankfully, he is not going away and will continue with his involvement with the Southwark Community Sports Trust and as a ‘player’ for the Club. It is fair to say that John’s contributions over the years have been far greater off the field than on it!

I will close with some words from John himself about his time as President sent from Sri Lanka where he is enjoying the current Test series..

‘I have been privileged to serve as President of Dulwich Cricket Club and I look forward to continuing to contribute to the Club in future seasons.   I cannot end my years of office without thanking countless friends and fellow members who have contributed so much to making Dulwich Cricket Club such a progressive, profitable and important club. Over the past 30 years it has been my privilege to serve alongside really resourceful Treasurers, efficient and wise Secretaries supported by enthusiastic committee members and fund raisers. On the field, the many captains have been a source of great inspiration and leadership.  Dulwich tours have provided so many rich experiences whilst enhancing our Club’s reputation.  Our coaches, age group managers and junior administrators, umpires and scorers volunteer to put in so many hours to bolster our club.

For me, Dulwich Cricket Club has always provided an atmosphere where juniors, ladies and men of all ages can enjoy their cricket. We are lucky to be part of a wider Sports Club where all the sports can share in the growth and development of our facilities. In closing, I recall my first season at Dulwich in 1977. It seems like only yesterday but the outstanding theme has been the great camaraderie and generosity of Dulwich players, real enjoyment on the field and many substantial sporting achievements. ‘

John will be an incredibly hard act to follow and in no way do I expect to be able to fill his shoes and achieve all he has done. But we all owe it to John to carry on the legacy he has left as best we can to make Dulwich Cricket Club stronger, on and off the field. He would not want to dwell too much on the past and would urge us to look forward but,

Thank you, John.

Graeme Hough
President of Dulwich Cricket Club

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