Player Profile – Bernard Mills

Name: Bernard Mills

Occupation: Retired, Speldhurst CC VP

Cricketing Speciality: All rounder

Best Performances: Scored 79 against the RAF Association, visitors to SCC. Bowling-wise, my memory fails but I never considered it an issue really, as long as I had done my best.

Cricket Heroes: During my eighty years there have been many. I was privileged to watch the great Don Bradman at Canterbury on his last tour but I really enjoyed watching Ian Botham, always a man to keep you on the edge of your seat for his audacious antics. I also admire him for his charity work.

Favourite Moments: Seeing my grandson (OC) take his first wicket and reach his first century.

Preferred Beverage: G&D out of bounds now so “tea in the interval” by the pavilion with a small piece of cake made by the talented tea ladies (but don’t tell my wife).

Cricketing History: My love of cricket began as a small boy when I walked out onto the pitch at “The Rec” carrying a bat made from a single plank of wood, carved by my father with the handle sheathed by a strip of bicycle inner tube. So proud was I. It stood up to many a boys’ game and I loved it. It would be some years before I joined Speldhurst Cricket Club and was able to use the club bats and later have one of my own. School teams came next, never the tallest boy in the team but I could run fast and my masters considered that to be an asset when in the field. I joined SCC at 14 playing against Erskine’s XI consisting of retired ex professionals, but mostly the Club played the local village teams. Keen rivalry between them all, but enjoyable. I recall playing away at Bidborough and as the team went for the customary after match drinks in the local I had to be content to sit outside with a lemonade and a packet of crisps (the sort that had a little blue bag of salt included for those old enough to remember) ‘till someone who had a car could drive me home. No entry to a public house for 14 year olds! I played at Speldhurst ‘till a young family arrived and then a knee injury forced early retirement. This, of course, placed me in the position where most of you see me now – as the man in his seat on the boundary.

Season’s Ambitions: To see Speldhurst continue encouraging the youngsters (as they do so well), bringing them on to play in a true sportsman like fashion and to see the club prosper in size and quality.