Cricket stalwart bowled over by ground naming tribute

Roy Simpson with Peterlee Town Mayor Councillor Mary Cartwright after unveiling the new ground name
Roy Simpson with Peterlee Town Mayor Councillor Mary Cartwright after unveiling the new ground name

Howzat for a tribute!

A cricket club has been renamed in honour of a man who has devoted over 50 years of his life to the game.

The new sign at Peterlee Cricket Club

The new sign at Peterlee Cricket Club

Peterlee Town Council have renamed the local cricket ground in tribute to the work done by club stalwart Roy Simpson.

Formerly known as the Helford Road Oval, council officials have now rechristened the ground as The Roy Simpson MBE Oval.

Peterlee Mayor, Councillor Mary Cartwright paid tribute to Roy during a special ceremony at the ground.

While Roy said it has made him extremely proud and added that: “I didn’t do the work I have been doing for any recognition”.

Roy, 75, made his playing debut for Peterlee in 1965, going on to captain the First Team and then the Second Team before retiring in 2000.

As well as more than doing his bit on the pitch, Roy has worked tirelessly for the club in a variety of roles, including serving 20 years as the secretary.

He also devoted his time to the development of the next generation of cricketing talent, overseeing the implementation and growth of the club’s junior sides from Under 13s up to Under 18s, regularly picking and coaching the team, driving the minibus and umpiring fixtures.

Roy’s devotion to grassroots cricket extended to becoming chairman of the Durham Cricket League.

And his incredible efforts were recognised when he was awarded an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List in 2015 for services to education, cricket and the community of Durham.

Roy said: “I’m extremely proud the cricket ground has been renamed after myself.

“I didn’t do the work I have been doing for any recognition but for the love of the game and Peterlee Cricket Club, but it is always nice to have an accolade such as this.

“I would like to thank everyone involved at the council and club.”

The new sign was unveiled by the Peterlee Town Mayor, Councillor Mary Cartwright in a ceremony attended by Roy.

Coun Cartwright said: “The Town Council is delighted have renamed the town’s cricket pitch the ‘Roy Simpson MBE Oval’ in recognition of Roy’s amazing dedication to the cricket club and the town over more than 50 years.

“Roy and his family have given so much to Peterlee Cricket Club, and the renaming of the ground is a mark of respect and appreciation for all that he has done.”

Roy was chair of governors at The Academy at Shotton Hall, in Peterlee for 23 years, and spent 25 years as a governor.

He has also been involved in grassroots cricket in a variety of roles as a player and administrator for over 50 years, and was chairman of Peterlee Cricket Club for 20 years.

Roy also spent 18 years as a magistrate after being appointed as a Justice of the Peace to Easington Petty Sessional Division.