This year’s AGM sadly sees the end of Mike Poole’s reign as Chairman after 11 years. He is now busier than ever at work and when most people think about winding down when they reach near retirement age, Mike is now travelling more than ever and feels that, over the past year, he has not been as hands on as he would have wished. The Board are very sorry that he has decided that he can no longer carry on as Chairman but delighted that he has agreed to stay as an ordinary member - assuming his nomination is carried at the meeting - and would like to pay tribute to the 100% effort he has always given to Sefton in his role as Chairman. He has overseen many changes, most initiated by him, and has been very thorough and professional in everything he has done. He will be a hard act to follow.


Mike’s last year as Chairman  has been a particularly difficult one. One of the main reasons is that, for those who do not know, Tom Hughes has been very ill for the past 12 months and as a consequence has had to cut back on all aspects of his involvement with the club. We have missed not only his presence but also his input into the running of the club. As House Chair he did a great deal of work much of it unseen and unknown and then increased the workload by taking on responsibility for bar. He was meticulous in planning and implementing his budgets and could inform the rest of the board, month by month, how the income and expenditure was going. However, we only too well recognise that his priority is not Sefton but his own health and here’s hoping that during the coming year he will begin to improve and that we shall see him regularly again on Saturday afternoons.


As seems to be the case these days, the Board has had to discuss and make judgements on some very difficult things over the year and the employment of professionals again featured highly on most of the agendas. It was decided to go down the route of employing two. Vin Mane returned for a second season with us and Paul Horton also stayed, although he did have several offers from other clubs. What is now a patently obvious fact of life is that without some injection of top quality players it will get ever more difficult to stay in the Premier League. The sad thing is that top quality players whether overseas or home grown will not play these days without remuneration and what is even sadder is that some average players when asked ‘would you like to join us’ reply with ‘yes, but how much?’ The days of loyalty in a lot of cases seems to have long gone. When the 1st XI is successful it filters down to the other teams. It is therefore in everyone’s interest to have a successful 1st XI.


After a difficult two years this year saw a new franchisee, Dave Finnan, installed in the kitchen. As was to be expected it took a few weeks for him and his team to get to know the vagaries of catering at a cricket club but they soon settled in and hopefully will be signing an extension to the franchise for another year or two. Although the club is allowing more self-catering when hiring the function room it is of vital importance both to the franchisee and us that, if possible, the franchisee is employed to do the majority of the catering.


On the cricket side, 2004 was an excellent season all round. The 1st XI managed to stay in the Premier League, the 2nd XI were promoted to their Premier League, the 3rd XI stayed where they were, the 4th XI joined them in the 1st Division and the 5th XI Sunday League were promoted to their 1st Division. We are now the only club in the League with all senior teams in the top divisions of their respective competitions. The under 15’s were also the mid week League winners. Well done to all the captains and players and here’s hoping they can stay at the top in 2005.


Having two grounds and pavilions has produced difficulties, some foreseen others not. The main issue with the grounds is that of the groundsman’s time. He has a full time job and works at Sefton on his days off. There are not enough hours for him to do both grounds and next year more than ever voluntary work will have to be the order of the day. It is imperative that players from all sides realise that just turning up and expecting everything to be ready to play may not happen and that they will have to put more effort in. The lower pavilion, except in the cricket season on weekday evenings and Saturdays, is lying idle and if it is not to become a ‘white elephant’ needs to generate income. If anyone knows of a way to use it on a regular basis then please let the Steward know.


Fortunately for me an acting Treasurer was found and I was able to hand over the reins to Raza Salim.  The position of Treasurer is quite onerous and combining the Secretary and Treasurer positions was almost impossible whilst still working. He has shown great enthusiasm and awareness and although the learning curve has been quite steep at times he has coped remarkably well. Raz was co-opted onto the Board and seeing a new face was certainly a new experience after a number of years but one that the rest of the Board was delighted about.  New, younger faces on the Board is definitely what is required. Most of the present members have served for many years and feel it is time to hand over the reins to a younger generation. Where are the new Board members, you are out there somewhere?


Membership numbers this year have increased thanks to the Lacrosse section. Here’s hoping the upward trend will continue. 


Sadly during the past year the following members or members relatives have passed away – Doreen Carney, Brian Carter, Fred Dugdale, Alan Hale, Dick Hayes, Ian Mitchell, Eric Palmer and Dorothy Spratt. Sympathies are extended to all their families and friends.


Finally my own personal thanks to Mike Poole for all his support over the years that I have been Secretary, to Raz for relieving me of the acting Treasurer’s job and to everyone else on the Board and at the club who works tirelessly for the good of the club.


Jean Wharton






MEMBERSHIP 2004     


Cricket Senior Player                   42

Cricket Senior Player & Partner   6

Non-Player                                        68

Non-Playing Family                  88

Senior Citizen                                    74

Senior Citizen & Partner                  32

Cricket Student                                  22

Lacrosse Senior Player                   10

Lacrosse Student Player                     1

Lacrosse Junior Player                     2

Non-Resident                                      6

Paid Life                                            21

Honorary Life                              10

Vice Presidents                                 26

Honorary                                            20

                                TOTAL          428







10 Meetings

           R Paisley                             10

           M Poole                              10

           J Wharton                           10

           R Salim (Co-opted March 04)       8

           S Wade                                      8

           D Cunningham                          7

           J Morgan                                  7

           J Ledger                                    6

           R Ashcroft                                           5

           D Dennis                                   3

           T Hughes                                   2