Log In

Reset Password

Howzat! Cricket trophy returned

United again: Carlton Smith, right, president of Cleveland County, and club members Robert Trott and Albert Simons show their delight at having the Eastern Counties trophy returned to their Harrington Sound Road premises after a holiday theft

A stolen replica of the Eastern Counties trophy has been returned to holders Cleveland County Cricket Club.

The revered showpiece was stolen during a break-in at Cleveland’s clubhouse on Harrington Sound Road that occurred between December 31 and January 2.

The errant trophy was discovered last Saturday by an expatriate caretaker of a residence in Tucker’s Town and returned to Cleveland yesterday.

“I am very happy and relieved that this ordeal is finally over,” Carlton Smith, the Cleveland president, said. “Relief came over me once I saw the trophy with my own eyes. I am very happy to get our baby back.”

Steven Douglas, the Eastern Counties Cricket Association president, said: “I am disappointed that someone would do what they did. But I’m glad that the trophy is back and wish something like this doesn’t happen again because of the sentimental value the trophy has to the eastern clubs and the association.

“I’d like to acknowledge The Royal Gazette because they put it out there in the public domain, so the public were able to relate to it.”

Mr Douglas was informed of the missing trophy’s whereabouts by electrician Mark Every. “I went to work at a client’s house in Tucker’s Town and, while I was there, the caretaker mentioned someone came on to the property during the night [last Friday],” Mr Every said. “Whoever it was went down by the pump house, which circulates the water in the pool, and left a bag there and what looked like a trophy.

“I had read about the missing trophy in The Royal Gazette and I don’t think the caretaker realised the significance of it. So I had a look at it myself and, lo and behold, there it was.”

Cleveland, originally known as Tucker’s Town, as inscribed on the original trophy and its replica, are one of the founders of the Eastern Counties Cup competition, whose origins date back to 1904.

Cleveland fan Robert Trott says the trophy is an important part of his club’s legacy. “The trophy is sentimental because of where we are from and what it stands for as far as what we have lost — and that’s our last bit of Tucker’s Town heritage that we have,” he said. “It’s sentimental to us because of our family roots and where it came from.

“Historically, that trophy means a lot to us and is more than a piece of silver. I’m just happy it is back.”

Former Cleveland cricketer Albert Simons, who was the first to discover that the trophy had been stolen last Friday morning, added: “I am just grateful that it was found and is back in its rightful place at Cleveland County, the best county in the world.”

Cleveland regained the Eastern Counties trophy for the first time in 33 years last summer after dethroning St David’s County Cricket Club in the opening round at Sea Breeze Oval. The Harris Bay club then successfully defended the trophy against Bailey’s Bay Cricket Club and Flatts Victoria Recreation Club in the remaining rounds.

“This trophy means so much to Cleveland, so I see why they wanted it back so badly,” Mr Every said. “It’s amazing they hadn’t won it in 33 years and I’m just happy this matter has been resolved.”