On Saturdays, OFCC combines with local neighbours, Headley, to participate in the Divisions 2 and 3 (of 3) of the Surrey Downs Cricket League as Headley Old Freemen’s Cricket Club (HOF).
Please contact us if you want to join, play, spectate or need any more info.
The origin of the OFCC is shrouded in mystery. It started life slowly soon after the parent school, The City of London Freemen’s School (CLFS), moved out from Brixton to the impressive setting of Ashtead Park in Surrey in 1926. Initially part of “The City Freemen’s Old Scholars’ Association” by 1931 the Club had a named Captain (Williams) and “The Ashteadian”, the School magazine, records at least two games in that season! Certainly by 1934 records also show that there was a full fixture list.
Sadly the advent of World War II in 1939 curtailed activity. But, as soon as the lads were de-mobbed, they were keen to enjoy their sport once more and rapidly rebuilt the full fixture list. Aided by a regular flow of more-than-competent cricketers, who finished their education but continued their affiliation with CLFS, the old boys thrived with the Scott and Jordan families being the vital cogs in the Club’s continuation.
For whatever reason the late 1960s and early 1970s witnessed a struggle for numbers before a group of like-minded school leavers, led by the persuasive Captain, Ashley Mote, took up the challenge and breathed fresh life into an OFCC revival. Subsequently several ‘volunteers’ became captains, frequently in rotation, most notably Rodney Clarke, Phil Green, Steve Camp, David Richardson, Chris Reynolds and Roger Seymour.
OFCC delayed its entry in to League Cricket until the early 1980s when several successful seasons followed in the Slazenger Surrey League (later sponsored by Kookaburra). At all times for more traditional friendly games a Sunday XI was retained (sometimes with two sides being fielded) under the leadership of the likes of Andrew Barnard, Tom Innes and latterly Howie Jones.
Although the early years of this century brought further pressure on playing numbers this also led to a radical change in the direction of Old Freemen’s cricket. The then Headmaster of CLFS, David Haywood, was persuaded to become Captain and lead a merger with local friends (including many former pupils and their parents) of nearby Headley Cricket Club. Headley was established way back in 1895 with home games played on National Trust land by the roadside at Headley Common. Thus Headley Old Freemen’s CC was created with two regular Saturday sides to compete in the attractive Surrey Downs League. This League is based on village teams within a 12 mile radius of Dorking, in and around the spectacular area of outstanding beauty of the Surrey Hills and North Downs. The newly merged Club won the Division 1 Championship title in David’s first year as Captain in 2005. Further success came in 2010 as the 2nd XI were promoted as Champions after winning the Division 4 title. Home matches each season are shared between the grounds at Headley and at Ashtead Park.
Both the Headley and Old Freemen’s Clubs retain full independent fixture lists for their respective thriving Sunday XIs, so the merger has worked well to provide each with a successful formula going forward. The sterling efforts for OFCC of David Hammond are still crucial to the liaison and there is now a more open access policy for club membership in common with most old pupil sports’ associations. Following David Haywood’s retirement in 2007 the family nature of OFCC continues to be emphasised with the appointment as Captains firstly for Tom and then for Jeff, David’s two sons who remain an integral part of the Ashtead scene.
|Deputy Chairman & Team Secretary||David Hammond|
|Hon Sec & Fixture Sec||Mark Ridley|
|Membership Secretary||Pat Jenkins|
|Communications Secretary||Jeff Haywood|
|Social Secretary's||Max Allen
|Club & HOF 1st XI Captain||Andy Brooks|
|HOF 1st XI Vice Captains||Steve Barton
|HOF 2nd XI Captain||James Brooks|
|HOF 2nd XI Vice Captain||Ewan French|
|Sunday Captain||Tom Glover|
|Sunday Vice Captain||Ben Oconnor|
Other committee members:
Grant Waller, Tom Haywood, Elliot Shepherd; Declan Botha: Tom Glover; Bob Davies
A Barnard; N H Barnett; M Byrne; S Camp; R F Clarke; C Fry; D Hammond; D Haywood; T Innes; T C Richardson; D.A. Scott; R Seymour; C Turner; R Voyce; P MacDonald; M Anderson; P Thomas; M Scott; D J Richardson; H Jones; R King; A Mote
If you wish to contact any of the Committee Members please email:- Info@oldfreemenscricket.co.uk
For more information on the Old Freemen’s Association and affiliated clubs follow this link