Having begun the previous decade worried about the future of the Club, the Greys began the new millennium with a strong squad full of committed and keen players, ready to take over from the Original Greysmen who had fallen by the wayside.
Standout performances from this year include Tim Greaves, with 25 wickets for the season, and 305 runs from Jerry Brasher, including a 105.
We don’t have any match reports or fanzines from this year, and even Jerry can’t remember where he scored his ton.
As if to demonstrate the new–found burst of enthusiasm and determination within the team, we ended the year playing indoor cricket over the winter months at Lewes Sports Centre. Six a side matches began at 8.45 a.m. on a Sunday morning, with big tonking shots above head height resulting in instant dismissal. It’s safe to say that the Greys were rubbish at this, only winning their last ever game, and giving it up after a couple of seasons.
It was also during this period that our club treasurer lost the club funds for several months, only for them to be found again behind the bar in the Constant Service.
Captain Jerry had twisted his knee playing badminton over the winter of 2000-1 In spring of 2001, at Net Practice, at Stanley Deason (a relatively new start-of-season innovation for the Greys) he twisted it again after a few minutes and keeled over. With Jerry out for the new season, Terry Burgess took over as captain.
During that same winter period, while we were all discovering the power of the internet, a newly arrived Aussie got in touch with us via Lulham’s spanking new website (“Aw I can play a bit mate”), and played his first match for us in the Indoor League. He went on to score 119 runs in four matches that season, averaging 39.66.
Biff Line topped the batting with 400 runs, Alan Dilley took 15 wickets
|Is Delbert our best ever batsman? The stats would seem to say yes, indisputably. An average in the 60s, at least 13 centuries, top score of 167, holder (with Biff) of highest ever partnership for any wicket of 238. Also superb fielder and very useful bowler. Club Secretary from 2006|
|2001 – 14
|Guy had played a lot of squash which, he claimed, had given him exceptionally strong wrists. This meant that he could hit 6s at will with virtually no back lift. Guy still jointly holds the record (with DD and Delbert) for the fastest 50, off 22 balls. Also a useful left-arm second change bowler, with a good arm in the field.|
We played an eclectic bunch of teams in 2002 – Maresfield, Actors Anonymous (from Kew in London), the Royal Mail, the Bacchanalians (or “Barking Aliens, as Lulham called them), Priory Ruins, Kent Highways, Warners End, Streat, Wickham Bishops and Blakes at Bletchingly. The game at Bletchingly stands out in Greys history with TMGs, batting first and bowled out for 59, nevertheless winning the game, with Nick Page taking 8 wickets.
After a season of turning up at the Greys to discover that they were hosting a poetry evenings on Sundays, the team parted company with the Greys pub, and relocated itself across Hanover to the Hartington, very handily owned by Rob Hoare, Greys demon opening bowler and pugilist. These were the glory years for Greys drinking with the Landlord’s round a regular weekly treat.
There were also emotional scenes at our traditional August fixture at Staplefield when Biff Line scored his maiden century. It happened in the gloom of the evening with some of Biff’s family watching from cars on the boundary, tooting their horns and flashing their lights when he got to the magic number. It was also a tense moment for yours truly at the other end, as I nearly ran him out on 99…..
This man appears in the stats for the first time, taking five wickets in his first season
|With over 4000 runs and more than 300 wickets, it’s very easy to make the case for Dave being our best ever all-rounder. A natural athlete and sportsman who once had a trial for Middlesex at Lords, Dave can bowl devastating opening spells and destroy any attack with his classical strokeplay. Here he is before he decided to shave off all that lovely curly black hair.|
Biff Line won the batting with 275 while Terry Burgess won the bowling with 20 wickets
The Greys ventured out to Kent this year on an explorative mini-tour, playing against Sturry, sleeping overnight in their pavilion on the same night that Lennox Lewis TKO’d Vladimir Klitschko. Dave Day took 6 wickets for 1 run that day, the latter a feat rewarded by the Sports Argus with a trip to Gray Nicolls in Robertsbridge, where Dave got to pick and choose a free bat.
Biff also recorded his second century for the Greys this year – again against Staplefield, an event captured in the pages of the Sports Argus.
Biff also went on to win the batting with 638 runs and Dave Day took 33 wickets. Both were also the highest recorded individual season totals for the Greys at the time.
2004 Played 16 Won 9 Lost 5 Drew 2
Alex Fenton took over as Fixtures Secretary and a new look to the Greys Fixture Card began to emerge, as the Greys moved out of the parks and recreation grounds of Brighton and into the villages of Sussex, playing teams with long standing histories, with a large pool of players and excellent facilities.
One of the high points of the year was that the Greys were featured in the Sports Argus as Team of the Week. Comments on the left could only have been written by Lulham. Note the reference to the Greys as “Mighty” here.
Back Row: Rob Hoare, Ben Burbridge, Chris Hathenden, Dave Day, Andy Lulham, Terry Burgess.
Front Row: Bob Golby, Alex Fenton, Jerry Brasher, Biff Line, Guy Malyon.
A mate of Ben Burbridge’s, Chris Hathenden was a tall and accurate opening bowler who quickly forsook us for a new life with the Swedish aristocracy. He played 14 matches and took 24 wickets.
The low point of this season was undoubtedly a hastily arranged last minute fixture against Eastbourne Town at the Saffrons, also a Sussex CCC venue. Ollie Rayner played for Eastbourne in this match, where they scored 351-4. We replied with 140 all out, and they sat on their own in their dressing room drinking from their centurion’s jug.
The Greys returned to Sturry this year but didn’t stay overnight, with Delbert Covill scoring 111. Ian Sewell also had a Michelle at Ford.
Biff scored a century against Tim Greaves’s brothers’ team, Warners End, as well as winning the batting trophy for the fourth season in a row, with 423 runs. Ian Sewell won the bowling with 27 wickets.
On a sad note, this is the first year that Andy Lulham’s name doesn’t appear anywhere. Like everyone else, Andy never announced that he’d decided to retire from the Greys, so we never had a chance to give him a proper send off. Not only had we lost an outrageous, irreverent sense of humour, a quietly competent organiser, an effective opening batsman and occasionally devastating bowler, we’d also lost our Club Sec. Thankfully, Delbert Covill took over and created the current unparalleled (in pub cricket) website you’re looking at now.
|Quick to earn the name “Chief Turning Ball”, Dave played only intermittently for the Greys in his first few seasons. If he had played more often he would surely have double the number of wickets he has amassed with his well-flighted, nagging, slow deliveries Likes to smash every ball he faces high over midwicket.|
On the field, it was Dave Day’s year, winning the batting with 403 runs and bowling with 23 wickets.
2006 Played 15 Won 6 Lost 6 Drew 3
With Terry Burgess having given up the captaincy, Biff Line was voted in.
Having talked about it for years, we actually went on tour, staying in one of Adam Drinkwater’s houses, in Sidmouth. In that first year, the Greys only played against Sidbury (we lost by 36 runs). The Luppitt fixture was added the next year.
Delbert Covill made three centuries this year – 113 at Ford Prison, 108 against the Hornblowers and 101 at Streat, winning the batting trophy with 605 runs. Jerry Brasher also made 102 against Brunswick Village. Rob Hoare also weighed in with 20 wickets, earning himself the bowling trophy.
Photos from the drawn match against Poynings can be found here.
2006 – 10
|Adam was a very stylish right hand bat, technically very correct and capable of playing some classical shots. Also a superb fielder who took some stunning catches. Last heard of in a cave in Morocco, or Cambodia, or somewhere.|
2007 Played 17 Won 11 Lost 3 Drew 3
The Greys were at their most formidable this year, losing only three matches (against Brunswick Village, Chiddingly and Ansty). Luppitt was added to the Devon tour, played on a Saturday, with Delbert Covill making 143 against Sidbury the next day, and Tim Greaves collecting another Michelle.
This is also the year of the Warninglid 3, when Ian Sewell, Harry Nicolson and Terry Burgess steered the tail to an unlikely victory.
Captaining the team for the day, Dave Day made his maiden century for the Greys against the Hornblowers at Horsdean. Here’s his push for a single to get to 100. Tooooot!
And here he is returning to the pavilion, followed by a tearful Bob Golby. Later that year Dave made a 50 and took 5 wickets against Hassocks. He also ended the season with a total of 31 wickets.
Photos from the second tour of Devon can be found here – first year at the campsite in Axmouth.
Party Seven moments were also awarded for each game this year, though there’s no record who won the trophy for the season. Derek Covill won the batting with 477 runs and Dave Day took the bowling with 31 wickets.
2008 Played 17 Won 7 Lost 7 Drew 2 Tie 1
After about 200 attempts, Terry Burgess scored his first and only century for the Greys, featuring in a partnership of 126 with Kiwi (and superb wicketkeeper) Tom Weaver at Bodle Street. Ian Sewell also took five wickets (for 16) that day as the Greys won by over 150 runs.
Note the length of the Shadow’s shadow here – this wasn’t even the end of the first innings that day!
Delbert Covill only scored two centuries this year – in a losing match at Twineham and on tour at Sidbury, with Terry Burgess winning the batting with 351 runs. Ben Newland also took his first six wickets for the Greys this season, with Ian Sewell and Dave McHugh recording five wicket hauls. Dave Day won the bowling award with 24 wickets.
(Frightening) photos of the Greys at the Ram following the victory at Firle can be found here.
It was about this time that we started nets at Plumpton.
|QB (or Quiet Ben, to distinguish him from Evil and Dead Bens) is a highly effective swing bowler, able to bowl devastating deliveries that outfox even the best batsmen. A worthy successor to DD as a Greys opening bowler who may also one day overtake his career bowling stats. Also a very useful lower order bat, specialising in top-edged sixes. Captain of the Greys from 2016. The King of Greys Sound Systems.|
2009 Played 24 Won 13 Lost 8 Drew 3
The now thriving Mighty Greys ended the decade playing a record 24 games, all of which are now lovingly recounted on this website. Ibrahim Azami joined us this year, having never played a fully-kitted out game of cricket in his life, and took 5 wickets in his first game, at Cuckfield.
Delbert Covill made a full recovery from his slump in form, scoring four centuries (at Streat, Sidbury, Brunswick Village and Bodle Street). His partnership of 238 with Biff Line at Streat this year remains the highest partnership for any wicket. He ended the season with 1025 runs, nearly twice as many as the next person on the list, unsurprisingly winning the batting trophy as well. Ibrahim Azami, in his first season, won the bowling with 37 wickets.
RoborBob Meek made his first appearance for the Greys this year, winning PSM for a fantastic boundary catch at Jamaica Inn Pirates. It was his only game until he reappeared from nowhere in 2018.
This was also the year of Rob Hoare’s last stand at Hassocks. He also recorded two Michelles, including a 6 for 23 off 8.
2009 – 15
|We all have stories to tell, but none are like Ibu’s. Joined us after an overland trek from Afghanistan, and recorded figures of 10 – 2 -21 – 5 on debut at Cuckfield. Could be unplayable when he got his flight right. Thought the purpose of batting was to smash every ball as far as possible, regardless of the state of the game.|
|Another of the Greys distinguished all-rounders, a destructive batsman when he gets going, as well as an excellent containing opening bowler who formed an effective opening attack with Ben Newland. May also be the fastest thing on two legs in a Greys’ shirt.|
|The best thing about RoborBob is that there are two of everything about him. In his first incarnation he played a couple of games in 2009/10, then returned in 2018. An aggressive batsman who knows how to build an innings and pile on the runs, he’s also an effective medium pacer with a mystery pause in his action|
The decade ended with the modern world finally reaching the Greys, with match reports from this year on being placed on the new website. You can read them all over there on the left, including photos of the AGM that year, held at Ricky’s house and featuring a rare appearance from Lulham.
This is what the Greys looked like at their tour match at Luppitt
Back Row: Rob Hoare, Tim Greaves, Ian Sewell, Terry Burgess, Ricky Southon, Ben Burbridge
Front Row: Derek Covill, Alex Fenton, Biff Line, Jerry Brasher, Ibrahim Azami, Richard Partridge