Four men who have put their hearts and souls into Calmore Sports Club over the last five decades have been honoured at the recent Annual General Meeting by being appointed Honorary Life Vice Presidents.

Club President Steve Brandes was delighted to nominate former first XI captains Tom Pegler and Darren Vann alongside Keith Woodhall and Stuart Bailey for one of the club’s highest honours and they were unopposed in being voted in, to the delight of all in the room.

The quartet, who have over 670 first XI appearances to their names, in excess of 11,000 runs, 75 wickets and well in advance of 600 dismissals, were not only recognised for their on-field exploits but the considerable hard work that they have put into the club off the pitch over a great many years, a tally which far surpasses their 35 years of playing experience.

Tom Pegler joined the club as a fresh-faced youth in the mid-1980s and proceeded to break a swathe of club records with the bat.  He is the only player at present to score over 5,000 first XI league runs and coupled with over 150 scalps behind the stumps, Tom was a major part of the success the club enjoy in the late 1990s before taking on the captaincy role in 2001 for three seasons, leading 44 times.  But it is his longevity which sets him apart.  When he played for the first XI in the SPCL Covid Cup competition in 2020, he became the first player to appear for the 1s in five successive decades, having made his debut in 1988.  A Calmore man through and through, his award is nothing more than is deserved.

Keith Woodhall is the holder of a unique record in that he is the only person to have lifted the prestigious Club Person of the Year award three times – in 1996, 2007 and 2013.   The man from the Midlands joined Calmore Sports in 1990 and has played in all four XIs in his 30 plus year career with the club, including 85 appearances for the first XI, scoring 584 runs and taking 75 wickets – 15 of which he took in July 2006 when he won the SPCL Division 3 Player of the Month.  But it is the huge amount of work that ‘Woody’ has done off the pitch – a long time committee member, captain of the 2s and the 4s, colts manager amongst many other roles as well as working tirelessly around the ground that has seen him nominated for the award and there are few more deserving.

Stuart Bailey made his senior debut for the club in 1983, just shy of his 13th birthday in the third XI against Krakatoa, where he would be the second highest scorer on the day with 15.  Just two years later, he would make his first XI debut against Old Simmarians, holding the record as the 1s youngest league debutant for 20 years until Mark Lavelle made his bow at Rowledge in 2005.  174 games, 2760 runs and 201 dismissals later and his name is forever etched in Calmore Sports folklore, being a part of the league winning sides of 1989 and 1994.  From his debut in 1985 to his final 1st XI appearance in 2018, his career in the team lasted 32 years and 331 days – a record unmatched.  However, it is the effort that he puts in around the club and, of course, behind the barbeque, that make him a legend of the club.

Darren Vann joined Calmore Sports in 2010 from local rivals Cadnam, joining to take on the 1st XI captaincy reigns as we headed back into the SPCL after a three-year hiatus in the Hampshire Leagues.  What Darren has achieved since making the move has been leaving an indelible mark across all facets of the club.  Bare statistics state 112 games, 2150 runs and 116 dismissals behind the sticks, along with a 59% win percentage as captain from 2010 to 2014.  However, his work goes way behind that as he has been the club’s Colts Co-Ordinator for a number of years, team manager, players for all four teams and, most recently, the driving force behind the Southern Stars women’s team that has combined Calmore with Trojans.  There is considerably more to Darren’s efforts around Loperwood Park and beyond and his Club Person of the Year award in 2017 was just a mere scratch on the surface of what he achieves.

The quartet join Ron Bannister, Chick Chandler, Ray Chilcott, Roger Cronan, Bruce Elkins, Michael Gurd, John Hopkins, Graham Love, Roy Matthews, Malcolm Parton, Tony Smyth and Bob Wilcocks on the list of Calmore Sports VPs, bringing the total now to 16.