England cricket stars turn out for Copley fund-raiser

Howzat! Tim Bresnan and England ladies Katherine Brunt and Jenny Gunn with local youngsters
Howzat! Tim Bresnan and England ladies Katherine Brunt and Jenny Gunn with local youngsters

England cricket stars past and present showed their support for the grass roots game at Copley Cricket Club.

Former England captain Michael Vaughan, who played 82 test matches for England and captained them to Ashes glory in 2005, was joined by former Calderdale resident and current England bowler Tim Bresnan, fresh from helping England become the top test team in the world, at the fund raiser.

The Yorkshire men were joined by Katherine Brunt and Jenny Gunn from England’s woman’s team.

Copley, who have enjoyed a good season in the Towergate Halifax Cricket League and who won the Parish Cup against Southowram in August, raised £4,000 on the day - a big boost to towards reaching their target £500,000 for a new pavilion.

Earlier this year they were named the Yorkshire Showcase Club under the NatWest CricketForce initiative, the largest annual community volunteering event in UK Sport.

The players spent the afternoon meeting fans, signing autographs and taking part in the activities, which included a bowling and catching challenge, a climbing wall, a penalty shoot-out, a coconut shy and welly throwing.

The unsettled weather was the only disappointment on the day, but Michael Vaughan said he hoped people still enjoyed their day.

“I wouldn’t expect anything less from the weather in Halifax,” he joked. “ But it’s great to be here and hopefully they’re raising a lot of money.

“Looking at the pavilion they definitely need a new one and it’s important the people in the community get involved.

“It’s about the future of the club and providing the kids with best facilities they can in order to improve their cricket,” he said.

Tim Bresnan, who used to live in Brighouse, told the Courier: “Copley have been recognised by the ECB but that hasn’t happened by chance. A lot of people have put in hard work.

On the new pavilion, he added: “It’s going to be fantastic once it’s built. I’ve heard it’s going to be a multi purpose building for not just the first team but for kids and women as well, which is really good to hear.”

Richard Hoyle, club chairman, said: “We set a target of raising £25,000 in cash through general fund raising and events like the fun day over the next year and we’re very pleased that the support of club members and the local community made the family fun day such a great success.”