Cricket club in the heart of Corby pays tribute to man who volunteered for five decades
Stewarts and Lloyds Cricket Club is based at the centre of the historic Lloyds estate
Every sports club has a Robin Webster. The type of man who's already there when you arrive for the match, the type who does all the jobs you didn't know needed doing, the type of man who keeps grassroots sport alive.
Robin was part of the fabric of sport in Corby and so after his death in June last year, his daughter Tracy Southwell decided to do something to honour her 'sports mad' dad.
She managed to raise £2,300 in his memory - donated by people who knew him and those who couldn't attend his funeral because of the pandemic - and has donated half to Corby Town FC, where Robin manned the season ticket turnstile, and half to S&L CC, who this week unveiled a state-of-the-art scoreboard at their Occupation Road pavilion in his name.
His wife Christine Webster, who met Robin when she was just 15 and was married to him for 54 years, said: "Rob was just sports mad. He'd been playing cricket since 1970 and when we moved to Corby for his job at Aquascutum he got involved with sport in Corby straight away.
"He just loved it. He played cricket and football but eventually he got a leg injury so he started umpiring and refereeing.
"We used to play up at West Glebe with two sheds for changing rooms for a while and then we were based at the Triangle. He was instrumental in the merger between Corby Town CC and S&L CC when Corby had to leave their ground in 1998 and he then became vice chairman.
"He also refereed the football all over the area so lots of people used to come up to him and say hello.
"He was also a Corby Town FC season ticket holder. He just lived for sport in Corby.
"We have some really wonderful memories and so many of them are of times at the cricket club. It's what keeps you going."
The pair's son Paul also plays for the team and did so alongside his dad.
Daughter Tracy said: "We grew up around the cricket club. We had some wonderful times here so we wanted to do something for dad so I set up a JustGiving page and we managed to raise £2,300.
"I think dad would have loved the scoreboard.
The scoreboard links to the internet so scores can be updated in real time.
Former chairman Mark Poucher said: "We've been wanting to upgrade the facilities for some time and the money that was raised has helped us to kickstart that."
S&L are a growing club but, like many others, have been hit by the sport being pulled the syllabus at many local schools. There has been a cricket club on the sports and recreation ground in Occupation Road since the new town was built, and Tata still own the ground which overlooks the industrial landscape including the Weetabix and former Sealed Beams factories.
Treasurer Liam McGeown, who has been involved with the club for many years, said: "I remember growing up playing cricket across the road with my brother and friends. They used to fly it at me really hard but it's how we learned to play.
"Kids don't really have the opportunity to play in the street now and schools often don't have cricket teams."
Chair Dave Alderson said: "All the schools used to have a team - Pope John, Kingswood, Our Lady's, Studfall. They pulled it from the national curriculum about 20 years ago now so it's been more difficult to get the juniors in.
"We've got a huge catchment area, we're right in the middle of all these houses and it's easy for people to walk here. We'd love more local people to come along and get involved."
S&L has teams for all age groups and abilities, including complete beginners. All-Stars sessions for under 8s begin on June 16 and girls and boys over eight can turn up and train every Friday from 6pm with no need to book. Members are also considering forming a women's team.
There's an inter-club fun-day on August 29 with the Robin Webster T20 memorial match which will see a Chairman's XI play against a captain's XI picked by Robin's son Paul including some players who played for the old Corby Town cricket club. There'll also be a junior tournament and entertainment for the children, hot food and a live band in the evening. All local people are invited. You can [email protected] for more info about S&L.