It’s 28 years now since the death of Ian Folley, the Whitehaven professional who died at the West Cumberland Hospital after being hit by a ball at the Playground.
But the former Lancashire and Derbyshire all-rounder has never been forgotten by the Whitehaven club, who have just staged two presentation evenings.
Jim Folley, Ian’s dad, donated a trophy in his memory in 2013 to be awarded to the Young Player of the Year and he was there as usual to hand it over to the latest winner, 15-year-old Josh Foster.
Whitehaven treasurer Arthur Brown said: “Jim lives in Oswaldwhistle in Lancashire but travels up regularly during the season to watch the home games, and when it’s the presentation night he stays over at my house and goes back the next day.”
Josh has been with the first team during the 2021 season and acquitted himself well at senior level. He has opened the bowling on occasions and his batting has improved so he’s moved up the line-up from tail ender to middle order.
As well as ability, part of the award is based on attitude and young Josh is exemplary in that, which suggests he has a successful and fruitful career ahead.
This year a new trophy for the best young all-rounder was presented in memory of the late Alan Parker, a former Whitehaven player widely respected for his ability, friendliness and love of the game. Alan’s wife Judith and son Ian awarded the cup to Harrison Telford.
Due to the numbers wanting to attend, the presentation night was held over two successive evenings.
The Friday evening saw the children from the club’s hugely successful All Stars, and Dynamo’s plus Club Under 11s and League and League Cup Winning Under 13s all receiving awards.
Harry Keeler, Ewan McCarthy, Haydn McCourt and Harry Vaughan were the winners of the main Under 11 trophies with Harry, despite being only nine recognised through playing for the County Under-11s.
The Under-13 awards went to Billy Thompson, Harrison Telford, Kian Larmour, Sam Elliot, TJ Cueto, Maddie Wood, Thomas Spires and Rowan Johnstone. Maddie, Harrison, Kian and Billy were also given their award for being chosen to play the county.
The Saturday evening also drew a full house when the Under-15s and adult awards were handed out.
The Under 13s winners Billy Thompson and Harrison Telford also received several trophies at this age group, along with League winning captain Ethan Wright, Robbie Swinburn, Lewis King, Alfie Haile, Shane Tyson, Harley Cueto, Charlie Ashford and Josh Foster.
The Under-15s squad were also presented with their medals for winning the League and Josh was also recognised for playing for the county.
The George Rumney Trophy went to Billy Thompson while Ethan Wright received the Hugh Jones Cup for the best Under-18s player.
The adult awards went to: Fourth Team, Tom Green, Alfie Haile, Mike Baker and Charlie Ashford, while the full squad also received medals for winning the West Cumbria League in their inaugural season. Players’ Player of the year was Mike Baker.
Third Team: Matty Branthwaite, Harrison Telford, Sam Garroway and Luke Blaney. Players’ Player of the Year Matthew Branthwaite.
Second Team: Jamie Bell, Billy Thompson, Ethan Wright and Jordan Hill. Players’ Player of the Year Billy Thompson.
First Team: Steve Holliday, Andrew Cameron, Josh Foster and Jonty Stewart. Players’ Player of the Year Steve Holliday.
Awards for scoring hundreds went to Robbie Swinburn, Jamie Bell, Chase Young and Steve Holliday. Five wickets in a game trophies were collected by Connor Allen, Shane Tyson and Ethan Wright.
First Team Captain Holliday closed the night with a heartfelt speech highlighting both the tremendous potential that the clubs juniors have and the contribution of retiring Club Chairman John Elliot.
John who presented the awards has been a fantastic servant to the club since his arrival to work in the area in 1984.
Holliday said: “John and Arthur Brown are the main reasons the club is in such a healthy position regarding the number of players available, how we are financially and our facilities. They are indeed two legends of local cricket.”