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Cricket Administrator Of The Year

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Year: 2011
Awarded to: Eddie Baker


Eddie joined Cheltenham Civil Service in 1979 when moving to Cheltenham with his job and he has played for the Club ever since.  Initially he had to serve his ‘apprenticeship’ batting in the middle order but was finally given his chance to open in the mid-1980s.  Eddie’s best years were undoubtedly 1988 to 1995 and in those years he scored almost 9000 runs, reaching the 1000 run landmark 5 of the 17 times it has been achieved. Last season saw his eldest son Craig score over 1000 runs for the club, which made him especially proud as it had not been done by anyone else since 1996. Of his career highlights, Eddie remembers scoring 77 out of 121 all out in a hard fought game at Fieldings CC in the early 80s. He has a career best of 139 no v Tetbury. Having become the clubs leading all time run scorer in 2003, his remaining ambition statistically was to reach 100 50s for the club although he was worried that old age might prevent him from doing this. However, the goal was finally achieved with his youngest son Robbie batting at the non- strikers end in a match at Woodpeckers CC in 2008 and he has now gone on to 107 50s – not bad for someone who allegedly just has one shot – the cut!  On the bowling front, Eddie is classed as a pie chucker so one of the most amusing moments of his career was when he became the 3rd player to take a league hat-trick for the 1sts – it was a somewhat unusual hat trick as all three wickets were caught by the same fielder on the boundary at long-on. 

Eddie has served the club over the years as 1st team Captain. Under his guidance they won the then Gloucestershire Club Championship in 1990 and were runners up in 1991. He has also served as Secretary, Fixture Secretary and now Chairman, but by far the best thing he has ever done was to set up and run our Youth cricket teams in 2006.  He still runs our Under 15 and Under 17 teams and it is particularly pleasing to see how many of our youngsters have made it into our 1sts and 2nds and play active roles.  We have the highest percentage of boys playing in our adult teams in the Cheltenham / Gloucester region who have progressed from our Youth teams and this is no small part down to Eddie ‘chasing/encouraging’ them.

He still enjoys playing cricket and helping others enjoy it as well. He does not like players dropping out late from matches and works hard to ensure we, as a club, put out full teams. We are in the fortunate position now of having many players aged 25 and under, which bodes very well for the future and our club spirit on and off the pitch is better now than at any time previously in his 33 years with the club as was shown in an excellent match last season when our ‘Youngs’ beat the ‘Olds’ in a very competitive match off the last ball. Eddie hopes to be able to carry on playing for a couple more seasons. He has especially enjoyed playing and batting in teams with his sons. He says he will make the dreaded decision to retire from playing when he knows he is not capable of scoring 50s anymore and will then take up spectating from the boundary but will obviously have to give up more weekends for his long suffering ‘cricket-widow’ wife Linda.