March Cricket Club chairman pays tribute to club stalwart who is up for major award

March Town Cricket Club members at Lords. Former March Town Cricket Club President Mel Pooley and J

March Town Cricket Club members at Lords. Former March Town Cricket Club President Mel Pooley and Junior Cricket Coach Toby Nulty were invited to Lord's . - Credit: Archant

A March Town Cricket Club stalwart has been nominated for a prestigious sports award.

Mel Pooley, 66, of Doddington, is shortlisted for Living Sport’s services to sport award, with the winner announced at a ceremony in St Ives on November 13.

Mr Pooley has been a player, captain, committee member, chairman and president at the club since he joined in 1971.

He is an expert groundsman who keeps The Avenue in peak condition and serves as pitch advisor for the Cambridgeshire Cricket Board.

But he is known much further afield - he has been working in Holland to improve their pitches since 2008.

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He said: “It’s nice to be recognised for something you have done but for me it has never been about awards. I do it because I love the club and enjoy looking after the ground.”

Chairman Les Mills said: “Mel (Pooley) has been a member for more than 40 years completing numerous roles but where he has really excelled is as club groundsman.

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“He prepares wickets for minor counties cricket and for many years has been Cambridgeshire’s ECB Pitch Advisor.

“He took time off work to pass a degree course to improve his knowledge which has been used throughout Cambridgeshire, the surrounding counties and abroad.

“Mel (Pooley) is well known and well respected. He is very approachable and will assist any club.”

Captain Chris Ringham added: “Mel (Pooley) has worked tremendously hard for the club in a number of roles, including president and chairman.

“His work on our ground has been phenomenal. The fact that most people look forward to playing at the ground is a tribute to his skills.”

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