Woodham Mortimer Cricket Club FIRST XI squad

Woodham Mortimer joined the Mid-Essex league for the start of the 1985 season under the captaincy of David Underwood. In that first season the club finished a credible second in Division 5 and were promoted. Prior to that the club played friendlies on Saturday and Sunday putting out a stronger team on Saturday. The second team joined the league in 1988.

 T Rippon Final League Positions First XI (joined the league 1985)
1985 div 5 Runners Up  1995 div 2 7th 2005 div 4 7th 2015 div 4 Champions
1986 div 4 5th 1996 div 2 9th 2006 div 3 4th 2016 div 3 4th
1987 div 4 5th 1997 div 3 7th 2007 div 4 10th 2017 div 3 Runners Up
1988 div 4 Runners Up  1998 div 3 4th 2008 div 5 4th 2018 div 2 5th
1989 div 3 4th 1999 div 3 Runners Up 2009 div 5 5th 2019 div 2 4th
1990 div 3 Champions  2000 div 2 9th 2010 div 5 3rd 2020 div 1 cancelled
1991 div 2 3rd 2001 div 3 4th    2011 div 4 Champions 2021  
1992 div 2 3rd 2002 div 3 8th 2012 div 3 5th 2022  
1993 div 2 8th 2003 div 3 8th 2013 div 3 9th 2023  
1994 div 2 8th 2004 div 3 4th 2014 div 4 5th 2024  


Captain : Kev Wright

The Crabbies loving Club Captain. It’s a little known fact that, in the year of 1894 our Kev (who had just turned 20 at the time) played against the famous writer Rudyard Kipling. Kev gave Mr Kips a gentle outswinger to warm himself up – Kips stretching more than Kev in his later years on the physio table – until he steamed in from his five pace trundle and bowled Rudyard with a corking in-swinger on just the second ball of the innings. When Rudyard had returned to the pavilion and was asked how he had got out the writer muttered that it had “swung like a banana” – inspiring Kipling to base Kev on The Jungle Book’s very own King Louie, the King of the swingers.

King Louie is now the proud leader of the Woodham Wolves. Kev, the Alpha, is not one to back down from any challenge – so much so that controversy was sparked after his marriage to Louise who now found herself in a pickle. Marriage was supposed to signal the end of Kev’s cricket career and plans to retire had been formed in a proposed contract of sorts, where watching the boxset of countryfile and trips out to boot sales were on the agenda for married life. But Kev, taking the contract his new wife had drawn up and, in true wolf fashion, chewed it to pieces, picking up his Yorkshire tea box and setting off for pheasant fortress.

Sadly now, in the Autumn of his cricket career (if he was 20 in 1894 he is over 140 years old – crikey!) it appears that our skipper has a touch of forgetfulness about him. In a recent game against Havering CC, after finishing his over, the skip launched the ball over to the other side of the field as Cam, confused as ever, proceeded to retrieve it. This momentary lapse of reason has also been evident in the skip who is quite confused as to whether he is a batsman or a bowler. At this club you can’t have both and so have to choose – which makes it difficult for our Kev who has a HS of 142* with the bat and decent figures of 5-20 with the ball. Nifty. Thank god his fielding ability is below village standard or we might of lost our beloved skip – snapped up by some Premier division Club. Alas, the leader of the pack is a true role model, and with the respect and backing from all of his men they would follow him out to a badly cut wicket on any day of the season.

Ian Ball

The “Yipes” can be defined as the following: ‘The loss of fine motor skill in athletes’. But can this term be associated with our very own Ian Ball? Firstly, Ian is a batsman (despite his wicket tally showing 18 victims #whodidballypayoff?) And therefore, can batsman get the yipes? Should we class our Ball as some kind of strange yipes all-rounder? The term yipes also implies the ‘loss’ of something. Is it possible to lose a you’ve skill never had? Can we count the nudge for single down to fine-leg a skill? It’s a run I suppose, but what happens when they put three behind square? And does the yipes only apply to athletes? I’m not knocking Ball’s age, but he does start every conversation off with “during the war.” Of course I jest. Our Bally isn’t talking about the Second World War. He’s talking about the Boar War. I mean this fella is so old he has pants and socks older than me. Can you smell that, that’s called jealousy.

But a fine figure of a man our I-Ball is. The club’s second leading run scorer only behind D. Fannon. Ball has hit three marvellous centuries for the club, his highest 120* against Bluehouse (never heard of them either – must have been a pre-war game I think). If you scan your eyes across a cricket encyclopaedia (or just ask Manu) it/he will tell you how the fielding position ‘slip’ was named after our very own Bally, because whenever the ball would fly off the edge it would either ‘slip’ out of his hands, or he would slip over in the process trying to snatch a belter of a catch. But when he does take a screamer, my god. It’s like watching a Gazelle. A Gazelle that’s been shot a couple of times and half-eaten by a lion mind you, but a catch is a catch. Now in the winter of his cricket years Bally has taken up the role of the old wolf. The calm head of the 1’s. The satirical comment waiting behind the bat. The salt of the earth kind of guy, ready and waiting to supply sweets to the team like a dirty old man at a playground. Mind you, as dirty old men go our Bally ain’t half bad. Heart and teeth of gold. Has offered to give his bat to the British museum after he has hung up his boots. They just don’t make them like this anymore. 

Mark Beames

The club convict, who has now returned to England (the scene of the crime) after not fancying those hard tracks of Queensland (Its all the Queen’s land mate). When writing these profiles its vital you must get the correct balance of 50% cheeky rascal and 50% informative Craig Marshall stat-man, which is why I am finding this profile particularly difficult as there is no one more irritating at this club than Mark Beames. You may think I’m joking. But I’m not. I’d rather have a shower with sand paper for a bar of soap than sit down and talk to this Australian. And when he is not sending me 500 emails in one go about the club he is texting me like I’m the only contact in his phonebook, calling me when I don’t reply with minutes because I’m too busy hitting my head against the table. I secretly think he fancies me. Must do with all these texts. Blooming yuppie.

Of course I jest (I don’t). In his time here at our club Mark has integrated himself as one of the most vital players and support staff we can have, a bit like a virus or rash you just can’t get rid of, no matter how hard you try. He can’t get much affection at home either because every Sunday you can find him on his laptop bashing in… the scores of the weekend so that our website is fully operational and up to date. Despite what the committee names say also he is also responsible for the fixtures. I mean seriously is there nothing this man can’t do (yes, sod off and leave me alone as a start.) But it would be unfair to say that I did not appreciate Marks efforts. If Nathan is the person that ensures things are done on the scenes Mark is responsible for the things that go on behind them. A very key aspect of the club, and perhaps finest T20 captain/batsman who has graced our ranks. Likes to think of himself as an all-rounder (cow corner slogger and grenade chucker – with best figures of 2-14 against Raphael?) What’s a Raphael? Isn’t he a ninja turtle? Must of paid him off to steal those two wickets, not like he’s short a few bob (bob means money in English Mark – know you’re still struggling to adapt to the culture). But all in all, a bloody nice Bruce who’s got his heart in the right place. Just the head I’m worried about. Not to mention those skimpy flowery shorts?! Have a word someone...

Andrew Brown

Browny once told me that he was the club’s longest serving consecutive member, having started his glistening cricket career with the mighty Woodham Mortimer in the season of 2002, when I was just 8 years old and little Ribu was just a twinkle in Mrs Tripathi’s eye. I’ve never checked whether this fact is true or not, nor care much neither. But through the usual slurred words of Captain Brown I believe he meant to stress this as an achievement of sorts. Ha! 14 years of village cricket and still pony. “Give it up” they say to our Browny. But, with a bar as cheap as ours it’s very hard to cut ties, just like he finds it hard to cut a cricket ball, – so much so that Brown makes a weekly trip all the way down from Clapham just to drink from his favourite watering hole. If that’s not commitment then I don’t know what is. The club motto: ‘a drinking club with a cricket problem’, is the embodiment of Browny. He loves it so much that then he dies he wants to be reincarnated as a widget. Cracking idea that AB.


But this lad isn’t just a drinker. He’s a real sportsman too – someone in peak physical condition. Must be to win the ‘outstanding fielder of the year’ award on three separate occasions. Must be rigged mind you. Unfair to put anyone else at the club up against Browny when it comes to fielding. The maestro is a keen cover fielder, and regularly scares the batsman out of their wickets with those crazy eyes and gigantic belly button that looks as though it could transport you to another dimension. Something out of Stargate Atlantis. It’s so big I’ve seen him catch cricket balls inside it, not to mention those odd occasions when he uses it as a beer holder. But I’m getting off topic. Blooming terrific fielder. And quick too. Must of thought it was last orders or something. Has also been known to hold a bat when he wants too, and must be half decent after scoring over 3500 Woodham runs! I stress the half. But take no notice of my jibs because perhaps our favourite moment of Brown’s career finally came in late 2016, when after years of failing to hit 100 he finally reached his maiden century against Great Baddow. You just couldn’t write this fairy-tale. Long live Captain Brown, the patron saint of drunks and village cricketers. 

Nigel Costin

If Humpty Dumpty and a pair of promiscuous (look it up Cam) wicket-keeping gloves ever had a love child you would get a little something like our Nigel. Like his dear old father Dumpty, who couldn’t be put back together again, our Nigel also appears to be shot to pieces in more places than one. I mean what is it with you wicket-keepers? First you moan that my bowling is too far down the off-side then you tell me its too far down the leg side. Are you never happy? Our Nigel is a rare breed. With what knees he has left he leaps to any wide ball like a gazelle, one that was once a fine prancing animal but has since been shot a few times and half eaten by a lion. Who needs knees anyway?

Roger Marshall

If there was ever a love child between Freddie Flintoff and Lurch (Hot Fuzz – Yarp/Narp you get it) then you would have Roger Marshall. The 2nd oldest of the Marshall trio to grace the pheasant sigil. Rog likes to think of himself as a genuine all-rounder AKA all-round greedy bugger who wants to bat, bowl and field. During the winter Roger spends his days staring glumly out into the snow, pretending it’s a hot July afternoon, chasing a ball down like a dog on heat. The term cricket on the brain doesn’t do this guy justice. When Rog finally has a kid it is due to be named after his most admired cricketer: Brian Lara (Brian if it’s a lad, Lara if it’s a lass). Yet, despite his many flaws – like when Rog rambles on about anything and everything, and you’re not quite sure what is going on or what the meaning to this pointless tale is trying to convey – he is very much so an impact player, devastating with both bat and ball at times. I mean have you ever had a dream where a guy was that good at both things? No? Me neither. Certainly not as good as brother John. Ooooo John.  

Jack Shipton

Signed late in 2016 from Burnham Sports CC former Captain Jack-Jump Shipton was lured in with a record fee of 3 jaffa cakes and a famous pint of our Hopping Hare. In a press conference after the youngster signed the deal we asked young Jack what had made him leave BSCC for pheasant fortress? He replied “I got bored hitting runs against you.” And a flaming good job he got bored too. This season alone has seen Jack hit 2 (YES TWO) centuries for BSCC – 1 being an immaculate performance against the WMCC 2nd XI, and just so happened to be the day all our bowlers were off. Ha – like we have any bowlers in the 2nd XI. Bravo young Jack.

When this young lad hits the ball it stays hit. Our Jack once hit a ball so hard at a horse that it smacked it in the head. To this day that is why Giraffes populate the world. I don’t know if that’s true or not but by the look of his scary face that could make a happy-meal cry I have been too afraid to ask.

Unfortunately for you I will have to keep this short and sweet – as we haven’t seen you play yet. But rest assure as soon as you get your first duck I will be back to finish you off, and not in the way you'd hope you saucy sausage. It is also rumoured that JS has one of those things called a gir-lfri-end, is that what they are called? Let's hope our Hollister model wears his box hats to show off his hip side, and not to cover up the massive thumbprint from the missus. 

Dan Smith
Dan Smith is our resident run scorer extraordinaire! Dan joined Woodham from Great Baddow in 2017 following a heated transfer battle and immediately made himself at home in our first team. He scored 1386 runs in that first season, a new club record including 7 centuries and 4 50’s at an average of 66 and was instrumental in the team finishing runners up in div 3 and gaining promotion to Div. 2. He followed this up with 1237 runs in 2018 with another 5 100’s at an average of 72.76! Needless to say, without Dan in our side we would be much the poorer Team! Dan is also a regular indoor player and has topped the runs scored tables in both the Braintree league and at Chelmsford. Last year he captained the mixed six to the title in the league’s first year. 2019 has again been a great year for Dan and he should look to join the 5000-run club very shortly; by far the quickest to do so. Give it another 3-4 years and I am sure he will be catching and surpassing club legends Damian Fannon and Ian Ball and becoming possibly the first Woodham player to score 10000 runs. I wouldn’t bet against it!
Manoj Tripathi

The walking, talking cricket anthology. You could get up in the morning, begin a cricket conversation with our Manu, pop off to the shops, return, run a bath, make a cuppa tea, eat your lunch, cook the dinner and fall asleep again before Manu stops talking about cricket. The lad bloody loves it. For a brief stint a few years ago (and to our ears delight) Manu left for Hatfield Pev to play in the Premier division. He must have been actually playing as, ever prone to the dodgy umpiring decision, they certainly wouldn’t of allowed him to be a match official, surely?. On one occasion Manu shot his finger up so quick that the bowler had not even turned round to appeal. And this crafty finger, trigger-happy and as quick as a gun-fighter at the O.K. Corral has of recent times been accompanied by a thick as ten bricks moustache that we all at one point thought was drawn on with permanent marker. Our Gringo doesn’t just follow trends, he sets them.

Its quite unfortunate that the other lads in the club can’t follow trends – such as scoring runs like Manu – because this geezer has buckets of them! You just can’t bowl at this guy as you will go the distance. I once see him hit a Yorker off the stumps for six down toward third man. I mean do me a favour. You could chuck a piano down at this man and by god he would play it better than Mowzart. Manuzart! I tell you – I don’t just make these up for fun you know. This season alone he has played 45 games. 45?! I didn’t even know we had 45 games. And where does his money come from for all them subs eh? Must hide it in that thick tash of his the crafty buggar. 45 games. Isnt there a local pub where you are Mr Tash? I suppose it’s a dirty job but someone has to do it, bravo for your efforts. We certainly need more players like Mr Tash. To him cricket isn’t a matter of life or death, no, its much more important than that. Rarely does a player come through our ranks that can bat bowl wicket keep and field as well as you. Just don’t put him on the boundary at OCCC, as he won’t see the ball. Fear not Mr Tash, for my dog also struggles with Red on Green colours and everyone still likes him to some extent. 

George Verlander

WMCC’s resident butler Jeeves is an ever present member of the club. A first team opening bowler regularly taking wickets with his waddling medium-pace. The type of pace not associated at all with the length of his run up, although watching those curves sway side-to-side is a treat and so we will not complain.

In the 2015 season Jeeves scored his maiden century with a HS of 106*. Now in 2016 Jeeves just owns a bat really.

Jeeves is a cultured chap and in his spare time is a student of English Literature. You wouldn’t know it however due to his pawopa cockney accent and, let us say, colourful choice of language. As bad as it sounds however Jeeves is a pleasure to spend the weekend playing cricket with. In 2016 he took up the mantle of Sunday XI Captain after his beloved Beefy Pieterson left for the Dengie swampland and pastures new.

He has now made new friends though and is devoted to the WMCC cause. All-round below average cricketer, part-time spooning partner to anyone who lays on an air bed, menace to Craig Marshall when bowling, and self-appointed head of the WMCC transfer committee. The Mike Ashley of Woodham Mortimer shall we say.

There aren’t many members who love this club more than our Jeeves. Cut him open he bleeds a combination of Wolf and Pheasant – animals he claims to have been in previous lives.    


Club Honours 

2015 - T-Rippon Division 4 

2016 - Warsop Sunday League Division 2

2017 - Warsop Sunday League Division 2

2018 - Warsop Sunday League Division 1

Performance history