County Recognises Club Members With Honorary Life Memberships
New life members with Club's current and former Chairmen (Graeme Taylor standing in for Jon Taylor)
In today's fast-paced and ever-changing world, with cricket clubs facing the twin worries of dwindling player numbers and harsh new financial realities, the average cricket club could be forgiven for entirely focussing on (or, rather, worrying about) the uncertain future that awaits them and how best they can meet its challenges.
However, casting an eye over the past can sometimes be valuable, and not just purely for the simple gratification that nostalgia can provide. Looking back across a club's history - especially one that stretches over more than 150 years as is the case with Stirling County - can offer solace in troubling times, providing a reminder that no matter the ups and downs, the club has the capacity to endure. It also offers the opportunity to appreciate how we arrived at this point and gives us an appreciation as to why we continue to play our silly little game together at New Williamfield. When one considers the clubs rich and storied history, playing cricket for Stirling County ceases to be either silly or little.
Finally, considering the club's past can allow us to achieve a greater appreciation of the effort and toil that many an ordinary member has contributed to help ensure Stirling County's continued existence and which helped make it the club that it is today. It is for this last reason that, at the recent AGM, the club decided to award four County stalwarts - Donald and Catherine Morton, Jon Taylor and John Howell - with honorary life memberships. These life memberships were awarded in recognition of the outstanding contribution that all four have made to the success of the club over many years, with all four recipients having been past winners of the Willie Little Award (club member of the year award).
Of the four new honorary life members, Donald Morton has had the longest affiliation with the club, first joining as a junior in the early '70s. Donald was a member of the triumphant 1985 County Championship-winning side, has captained both the 2nd and 3rd XIs over the years and was most recently membership secretary.
Since being roped into scoring in the early eighties Donald's better half, Catherine, has held numerous positions within the club. Cath was club secretary from 2013 to 2016 and her managing of the match-day teas and the event catering at New Williamfield has been an invaluable asset to the club.
Jon Taylor has been involved with the club for almost as long as Donald and, indeed, one can hardly imagine a Stirling County without him. Like Donald, Jon was also a part of the victorious 1985 1st XI team and was an ever-present member of the 1st XI for over 20 years from the 1980s to the mid-2000s. More recently, Jon's hard work and enthusiasm as bar and clubhouse convenor has ensured the smooth running of the clubs facilities since we made the move to our new ground in 2006.
The final recipient of the life membership, John Howell, is the newest member of the four, having joined the club at around the turn of the century. It didn't take long, however, for John to be persuaded to take on the responsibility of club treasurer, a position that he has held since 2003. As treasurer, John saw the move to the new ground and has successfully grappled with the increased complexity now involved in the management of the club's finances. John has managed to meet this challenge with gusto and numerous innovations, and has surely made the task of treasurer an easier one for whomever takes over the job.
If nothing else, commemorating the club's four new honorary life members, and in recognising the immense contributions made by Jon, Cath, Doc and John over the years, we are reminded that Stirling County Cricket Club, if it is to survive and flourish, has always required the sort of passion, dedication and hard-work exemplified by our new honorary life members. And this is, perhaps, even more true now, with the club now forced to recognise that survival in this harsher world will require greater diversification. We can no longer be content in the knowledge that we are 'just a cricket club'!
With this diversification comes an even greater need for volunteers with an ever-widening range of skills and knowledge, from marketing and community engagement to event management and the management of the clubs increasingly complex finances. If you want to see your club thrive, think you have the skills or knowledge that would be useful and would like to offer your time, please contact the club via e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org) or speak to a member of the club's board. Any contribution to the running of the club, no matter how small or large, will be greatly appreciated!