CHANGING times have seen the closure of many village cricket clubs, yet at Almeley, where players are celebrating a very special event, the runs just keep on coming.

Veterans joined present day players for a party on Spearsmarsh Common to mark the 70th anniversary since the club formed at Almeley, writes Sally Boyce

Founder member John Mokler was there with other long-standing supporters to watch the milestone match which included former players, among them two 75-year-olds.

The club is in fine fettle, as president John Powell, who joined in 1955, said: “Many people have given their time and expertise for us to arrive at this point.”

Mr Powell congratulated first XI captain Nick Evans for keeping the team together for three seasons.

He was delighted the Almeley side was competing in division two of the Marches League.

“This year wouldn’t it be marvellous to get promotion – we are knocking on that door,” Mr Powell added.

A score card dated 1955 revealed the 11 players due to play that year.

“How amazing that five of those players are here with us today,” said Mr Powell.

Mr Mokler recalled the club’s early days when Almeley farmer, the late Artie Morgan gave permission to play on his land.

“He was very kind and gave us a start, and fitting that his great-grandson Charlie is now playing for the club," Mr Mokler said.

“It’s a thrill that a little club like this is still going and playing darn good cricket.”

An indication of loyalty to the club was the fact that two former players, John Clayton and Roy Duggan, both aged 75, took their turn at the crease.

Groundsman and captain of the anniversary team, Rob Williams was also praised for his input.

Mr Williams said: “A lot of clubs are dying and we have got two teams and 40 players.

"We have two league sides and friendly matches on Sundays.”