The Greys in the 1990s
This article follows from the “Birth of the Greys” article, and what follows will make a bit more sense if you read that one first. https://mightygreys.com/birth-of-the-mighty-greys-cricket-club/)
Alongside the Founding Fathers of Hibbitt, Walder and Smith, two other people were central to steering the Greys from 1990 to the end of the Millennium: Andy Lulham and Bob Golby.
As Club Secretary, Andy did a huge amount of work organising, recording and publicising the Greys. With the help of Dave Smith in particular, he put fanzines together (“He Had to Go” and the Greyzette), sent match summaries to the Sports Argus, promoted us via Sussex CCC, put the Greys’ first ever website together, and much more. the rubric on the right hand side of the current site about parrots and millet (Classic Lulham) is his.
He also took it upon himself to organise the Club logo and get it onto caps, hats and shirts, although the motto – Cerivisia and Cavillatio (“Beer and Banter”) comes from Richard Hibbitt.
He also drew up pen pictures of Greysmen playing in the mid 90s, so here are some of his descriptions, starting with himself.
|Andy Lulham||Distinguishing Features||Speciality|
|Proclivity towards Belsen-style haircuts
Mummy-knit sleeveless sweaters
Horrid psychedelic cap
Talks too much
Unnecessary sun block
|Right Arm Bowler of varying pace and direction
RH Stonewall (i.e Crap) Batsman
Eternal fine leg/Third Man
Occasional Silly Mid On/Off
Inane Banter throughout entire match
First choice umpire – has own counters
Editor of Greyzette
And here’s his view of Bob the Bastard
Fidel Castro look alike
Horrid beige cap
|RH Opening batsman
Running around a lot in the Covers
Author of the Golby Report match summaries
Re-enacts Greys matches at home with toy soldiers
So let’s go year-by year into the Nineteen Nineties.
The Greys did not so much spring into the 1990s as stumble hesitantly into them. Without the certainty of the Whitbread League, putting a fixture list together was a challenging task, and as original Greysmen drifted away, finding new players was always a struggle. There was even talk of putting an ad in the paper.
This might be the earliest known photo of a Greys team, very likely to have been taken in 1990 before the first ever game against Kent Highways, in Maidstone. Only six of this team can be considered core Greysmen, with the others occasionals for whom this may have been their only game. No record of this game exists, and Pitkin and Lawrence don’t appear anywhere in the stats.
The sharp-eyed among you will have noticed that there are only ten people in this picture. Presumably it was the eleventh (unknown) who took the photo.
The Greys played fifteen matches in 1990, with Bob Golby scoring most runs (316) and Eden Phillips – who also captained the side in the early 1990s – taking the most wickets (25). Neither of them was probably aware of these facts at the time, as no awards existed, and AGMs were paperless, stat-free piss ups in the Greys.
With the struggle for players continuing, a team called the Occasionals merged with the Greys. It was an excellent decision, as some of them are still with us today, and have been the backbone of the Greys in the last three decades.
|Alan Dilley||Distinguishing Features||Speciality|
|Mild mannered veggie-type
Nervous of authority (but only when in Paul’s Honda)
Not one for drunken brawling
Will chat to anyone (Lulham included)
|Right arm military medium bowler
Uncomplicated RH Lower Order Batsman
“Greased Lightning” slip fielder
Team stand-by scorer
|1994 – 2012
|Paul Sidnell||Distinguishing Features||Speciality|
|Silver-haired team man
Greys Committee Dogsbody
Partial to the odd bit of scrumpy
|LH Middle Order Batsman
Right Arm Medium Bowler
Always keen to umpire, even if he’s not playing
Would probably don a Rah-rah skirt and act as team cheerleader if asked
|Alex Fenton||Distinguishing Features||Speciality|
|Windswept receding blond locks
Shirt slashed to the navel
Suffers fools gladly (i.e. talks to Lulham without hitting him)
Nonchalance to the point of rigor mortis
|RH Opening/Middle Order Batsman
Unsophisticated style (“if it’s up, have a go”)
Occasional slow right arm bowler
Versatile out fielder
(Andy’s immortal vampire comment can be found in 1995 below)
|Richard Partridge||Distinguishing Features||Speciality|
No visible trace of the excesses of the world of advertising
|RH Middle Order Batsman
Right Arm Medium Fast Bowler
Will field anywhere with equal enthusiasm
|Jerry Brasher||(for some reason, Andy didn’t do a pen pic of Jerry)
Opening the batting for over twenty seasons, Jerry has scored more than 7,000 runs, taken nearly 100 wickets, as well as countless catches at midwicket, cover, and more recently behind the stumps. Has also been out caught at gully over 200 times. During his 149* at Falmer the ball ended up resting against the live rail on the Brighton-Lewes line. Known in parts of Spain as “El assassin perro”. Captain in 1999-2000, a post he insists he still holds.
We don’t know much about what happened in the 1991 season. The Greys played at least 16 games, with Andy Williams scoring 332 runs and 25 wickets.
This was the last year that Eden Phillips played for the club, mainly because he lost his bowling action – probably not the first, and certainly not the last Greysman to suffer this.
Andy Lulham scored most runs (132) and took most wickets (9) this year, no doubt spurring him to revive “He Had to Go” a couple of years later. Two characters joined the club at this time, no doubt attracted by the team’s reputation for eccentricity and obtuseness.
|Terry Burgess||Distinguishing Features||Speciality|
|Well-spoken subversive intellectual
Always wears a long-sleeved sweater regardless of the weather
Buggered about in the batting order
|LH Opening/Middle/Lower Order Batsman
Right Arm Fast/Medium Bowler
Hard done-by LBW victim
|Ian Sewell||Distinguishing Features||Speciality|
|Tall, languid Liverpudlian
Often brings his own fan club
Crappy kits, but getting better
|Right Arm Medium Bowler
RH Lower Order Batsman
Variable position fielder (often stays where he’s put).
1993 is a bit of a mystery year for the Greys. Lulham didn’t produce another He Had to Go until the next year, and we have no idea where the scorebook for 1993 is either.
This team photo from – we think – 1993 includes (in the loud shirt), Paul Sidnell’s Polish brother -in law-Woytek. Woytek was on his first visit to the decadent West, soon after the fall of the Iron Curtain. On maybe his first or second day in England, he spent five hours in a windswept field in Falmer with people shouting things at him like “Your end!” and “Use the facilities!”.
Back Row: Alan Dilley, Richard Partridge, Richard Hibbitt, Ian Sewell (and son Ivan), Terry Drury, Unknown
Front Row: Alex Fenton, Paul Sidnell (and son Jethro), Terry Burgess, Steve Elliott, Woytek the Wolf-horse
It’s difficult to overstate how casually the Greys organised their affairs in those days. AGMs took place in the Greys pub, usually on a Friday or Saturday night when it was rammed. The meeting hadn’t begun on one occasion when your correspondent tried to push his way through to the toilet. By the time he’d got back, the small gaggle of Greysmen pinned in the middle of the room informed him that all decisions for the coming year had been made and the meeting was now closed.
Such a thing as a paper agenda and a meeting around a table were still several years away.
1994 Played 17 Won 6 Drew 2 Lost 7
The second edition of the fanzine “He Had to Go” was produced this year by Lulham, with help from Dave Smith. You can read it here:
It shows that Bob Golby scored his 106* at Stanmer Park this year, a skilfully timed second innings knock to win the game in the last over.
Bob won the batting award with 316 runs, bowling claimed by Steve Haines with 21.
We had many other awards at this time, but only ones that were invented in Lulham’s head, for example the “Bob Golby Shite Kit Award”, won that year by Ian Sewell. To this day, Ian has never owned a proper cricket shirt.
The Tour De France came to Brighton this year.
1995 Played 14 Won 7 Lost 5 Drew 1 Tied 1
The third edition of “He Had to Go” shows that Club Treasurer at the time was Alan Dilley, soon to be superseded by the financial acumen, rigid accounting and iron fist prudence of Ian Sewell.
It was also the last season that Original Greysman and key all-rounder Steve Haines played, the first Greysman to make his way to sojourn in Seaton in Devon. A decade later, the Greysmen huddled in tents across the river were unaware that he was living about a mile away.
Guy Keating started his all-too brief career with the Greys this year, his season including three Michelles. Nick Page also joined us, a significant addition to our opening bowling attack.
It’s also the first time a game against Ford Open Prison appears in the stats. This fixture started off very promisingly, with a guarantee of eleven people making up the opposition, many of them accomplished cricketers with white collar backgrounds. After the match we would be invited back to the Officers’ Mess to drink half-price beer and all you can eat barbecues.
Over time the character of the fixture changed: recreation in prisons became discouraged, they stopped inviting us back to the Officers’ Mess, and the cons themselves became more aggressive and lary, until in the end we decided to give up on the fixture.
There is a story about the prison playing an away game against us in Brighton where some of the cons absconded, but I’m not sure that’s apocryphal.
At about this same time we played a game against Ajax in East Brighton Park. Yes, the Dutch lot from Amsterdam, the team of Cryuff etc, possibly organised by Mr Sewell. Being a sports and social club, they also had a cricket team, which went on a tour of Southern England. I’ve no idea how we ended up playing them, but it was a laugh. And we won.
This section from He Had To Go is worth quoting in full:
“Did You Know?
Well known Greysman, Alex Fenton is also a keen thespian and is currently starring in the new West End production of Suck!, a play about gay vampires. Alex says that he is particularly pleased to be appearing in the controversial sex scene where, for the first time ever, he gets to play with a straight bat.
You can read the whole publication here:
Mike Walder scored most runs during the season, (325), with Guy Keating taking most wickets
Player No: 026
Unfortunately we don’t have a photo of Guy from this time (or do we?), but I think this is him today.
|Guy was about 6’2”, had played for Yorkshire County Second XXII, bowled at pace and from height and put fear into batsmen. Took 32 wickets at an average of 8.4. Once smashed a batsman’s wristwatch, who then took it off and handed it to Guy as his prize. Was also collected from his house before a game when he was found lying in the hallway, being the place where he had slept the night before, having fallen over drunk as soon as he’d opened the door.|
Player No: 027
|A fine opening bowler, Nick’s main feature was his strong arm, which meant that he could throw from the boundary with one bounce, every time, and his sixes stayed hit. Featured in the Bletchingly match where the Greys were bowled out for 50 and still won by ten runs, when Nick took 8-18
Still holds the record tenth wicket partnership with Terry Burgess, 41 against Verdeyns Green. Lives in Woodingdean and runs marathons
1996 Played 18 Won 9 Lost 7 Drew 1 Tied 1
The Greys never had a home ground, but by this time most “home” matches were played on the top pitch at Falmer, a wind tunnel surrounded by the screams of crows in the tall trees. Over time, we moved to the bottom pitch next to the railway line until this, too, went the way of all things and became a rugby pitch. From this point, the Greys became a wandering team, scouring the villages of Sussex for the perfect cricket tea.
Jerry scored 100 against Staplefield this year, in a (still) record first wicket partnership of 177 with Mike Walder.
The fourth and final edition of He Had to Go gives the “First Annual Homer Simpson Award for Most Weight Gained and Most Hair Lost” jointly to Paul Sidnell and Richard Partridge.
You can read the whole thing here:
Lulham also started producing in-year paper reports, which he called “The Greyzette”. The first edition features the oldest available match reports from games against The Snowdrop, Kent Highways, the Hornblowers and Ford Prison, written by Lulham and Golby.
Lulham’s account of the Kent Highways game wouldn’t get past the censors these days.
Nor would his account of the game vs the Hornblowers.
The Ford report is noticeable for its mention of Lulham distributing the new kit from the suppliers, Willow Sports, displaying the Greys horse logo. Some of us still have those shirts and caps…..
With the links he had made to Sussex CCC, Andy even arranged for Mark Robinson, King Bastard at the County Ground, to award Bob the Bastard his official Cap of Bastardness. (Actually it was the other way round – Andy arranged for Robinson to get a Greys cap via Bob after he agreed to be a Hon Life President of the Club).
Back on the pitch, it was time to lock up your daughters. And your mothers.
|Ricky Southon||Joined the team as a very occasional member, rarely playing more than a handful of games a year.
A reasonably quick bowler delivering from height, Ricky regularly contributes comedy moments in the field, as well as contributing the occasional boundary with his legendary “RickyFlicky”.
Everyone has a favourite story about Ricky….
Jerry Brasher won the batting with 216 runs, while Dave Smith topped the bowling with 22 wickets.
1997 Played 16 Won 4 Drew 4 Lost 8
By 1997, Lulham had obviously worked out how to use the printer at work without anyone noticing, as he started posting out Greyzettes at the end of each summer month, including match reports from games against Friars Oak (recorded as Stuart Francis’s first game for the Greys), Ford Prison (this was the infamous “Skippy at P2” game), and all the other teams shown below.
Here’s a fixture card from that time. Note the reference, as early as 1997 to the fact that, if you didn’t know where The Greys was, it probably meant that you played for them. The only fixture that survives from this time is Staplefield.
Bob Golby won the batting with 355, while topped Jerry Brasher the bowling with 28 wickets.
By 1998, Lulham had discovered a new thing called the Interweb, and the Grey’s had a website! (www.angelfire.com/ct/thegreyscc/index.html). He put a hit counter on it, which he monitored by the minute. Unfortunately the site no longer exists, so all the other stuff he put on it can no longer be found. It’s also impossible to work out how many games were won, lost or drawn that year.
The Evening Argus had started producing a pull-out Sports Argus, and Andy diligently managed to get brief Greys Match Reports included.
Rob Hoare, Tim Greaves, and Ben Burbridge, are recorded as playing their first games this year, but for the first time founding father Richard Hibbitt no longer gets a mention in the end of year Greyzette.
|Tim Greaves||Tim did some prodigious things on the cricket field. Opened the bowling for a number of years, got us a great fixture, against his brothers’ team (Warners End), smashed loads of big sixes and took some fantastic catches in the field. Also did the spadework of collating all the scorebooks to create individual career batting and bowling averages|
|Leading Greys all-time wicket-taker. Robbie formed a formidable opening bowling partnership with Nick Page, taking this forward with DD in the new millennium. Once hit a six at Lindfield, which is still in the air. Club statto|
|Ben Burbridge||The first of many Bens to play for the club, the original Dead Ben. Kept wicket and an aggressive batsman when he got going. Lives in Eastbourne.
Stuart Francis won the batting with 237 runs and Nick Page took the bowling with 23 wickets.
Walking off the pitch at Falmer towards the end of the season we noticed someone standing on the boundary next to Partridge, watching the Greys at play. Did that look on his face tell us what he really thought of us?
“Get your hair cut and we might let you play”, Bob the Bastard had said, and so Biff Line played his first ten games this year.
Player No: 034
|Biff Line||Biff started opening the batting for the Greys in 1999, since when he has gone on to amass almost 8000 runs, from over 350 appearances. Holds the record for several batting partnerships, including the record for any wicket. Captained the team from 2006-17. Has also taken over 100 wickets. Lives at mid-off.|
Adie Cook also played during this season, the first of line of antipodeans to have said “Yeah I can play a bit, I’ll give it a go”, proceeding to smash 430 from just 7 matches, including a fantastic 136 topping the batting for the year. Unfortunately, we don’t have a photo of him. Alan “Picca” Dilley topped the bowling with 20 wickets.
The season – and the millennium – ended with this all-time classic photo of the Greys taken at East Brighton Park. It features two original Greysmen (Woodford and Williams), as well as Line and Greaves from the Greys emerging youth policy. Notice Lulhams’ natty red Greys’ cap.
Back Row: Bob Golby, Nick Page, Alan Dilley, Tim Greaves, Richard Partridge, Andy Williams
Front Row: Andy Lulham, Biff Line, Jonny Woodford, Jerry Brasher, Terry Burgess