Match played in memory of Downham Market cricket stalwart

Friends and family of a Downham Market man who died from cancer earlier this year gathered for a memorial cricket match on Friday night.

Kevin Winters, who worked at British Sugar and was a former Downham Town Cricket Club player, died in April aged just 54.

A Twenty20 game between a British Sugar XI and a Downham Town XI was held in memory of Mr Winters at the Memorial Playing Field on the outskirts of the town.

After a hard-fought contest, British Sugar won by one run and passed Downham Town's haul of 120 runs on the last ball – much to the delight of the large crowd.

Before the clash, Mr Winters' partner Nicola Gray also cut the ribbon to unveil a bench dedicated to the 54-year-old which is positioned where he used to sit to watch his beloved club.

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Ms Gray said: 'I thought the whole evening went really well. I know Kevin would have loved it.

'I am so pleased with the bench because that was the spot where he used to sit and I felt it was appropriate it went there.

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'After Kevin died I said I wanted to put a bench there but the club came back to me and said they wanted to buy it and put it in the spot where he sat and I'm just so grateful to them.'

She continued: 'There was a really good turnout and Kevin would have really appreciated everything that was done. I think the amount of people who came out just spoke volumes about how well-liked he was.

'I had to look at the evening as a celebration of his life and I was a bit lost for words how kind everyone was.'

Downham Town XI captain Duncan Lanchester said the club and British Sugar hoped to make the match an annual event.

'We had rain for the first hour but we had a really good turnout,' he said. 'We had people come from as far as Nottingham to play. It shows that Kevin meant a lot to people.'

Downham player Alan Thulbourne added: 'He would have loved to have been playing himself. It was a lovely game to play in.

'We had his friends, family, workers from the factory and former Downham players there and it really was a great tribute to him.

'We really want to try and do something like this every year. We could have easily fielded four teams such is the respect people have for him. There were also more than 60 people watching which made for a really good atmosphere – especially in the final over of British Sugar's innings.'

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