Couple’s remarkable contribution to Gotherington

THE husband-and-wife team that has been running the junior section at Gotherington is to stand down at the end of the summer after 25 seasons at the helm.

Brian and Yvonne Cosgrove have made a remarkable contribution to the village club, near Cheltenham, helping provide a first taste of cricket to hundreds of youngsters over the years.

But the couple are now ‘declaring’ an end to their youth roles although both will remain involved with Gotherington – Brian as groundsman and treasurer and Yvonne as secretary “for the time being”.

Yvonne said: “It’s been wonderful to see so many youngsters growing up, being outside and enjoying cricket when you know that some would not have had that opportunity if the club was not here.”

Brian, aged 68, added: “We have a presentation evening at the end of each season, and we always receive genuine words of appreciation from parents and the children which mean a lot to the both of us.

“We’ve always had an ethos of encouraging as many children as possible to play, and the club heavily subsidises youth cricket. We’ve had to put up the cost this year to £35 per child for the season, but that includes all the kit, training which is provided by Gecko, and the matches.

“We’ve never wanted the club to make any money out of junior cricket, it’s always been about making sure local children can play.”

The couple made an instant impression as soon as they relocated from Ecclestone to Gotherington in August 1994.

Brian said: “We moved in on the Friday and I played my first game for the club on the Sunday!”

The couple were inspired to launch a youth section when, at a dinner in the late 1990s, Gotherington’s young player award was presented to a 24-year-old.

Brian, who went on to captain the club for five seasons before hanging up his boots in 2010, added: “We just had a thought of ‘hang on a minute, everyone’s getting a bit older and something needs to be done here’.

“So in 1998, with kit bags provided by the Lord’s Taverners, we started up with our first U13s. One of the most satisfying moments we’ve had since came a couple of years ago when we had eight former juniors in our Sunday team.”

Yvonne has been youth coordinator for the last quarter of a century while Brian has served as lead coach, with support from Gecko.

And in all that time, between them they have not missed one single weekend of youth cricket in any of all those summers. Their commitment was recognised with the 2021 Gloucestershire ‘Outstanding Contribution – Services to Cricket Coaching’ award.

Yvonne added: “We’ve loved it and will miss it, but hopefully someone else will now come forward and take things on.”

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