SOME of England’s most famous cricketers of the last three decades rolled back the years for charity.
A star-studded Old England XI took on a Neston XI at the Wirral club’s Parkgate ground last Thursday to raise money for the North West Cancer Research Fund.
The visiting side was made up of notable former Test stalwarts, including John Lever, Arnie Sidebottom and Derek Randall.
Hundreds of spectators packed into the ground for the benefit match, which was preceded by a corporate lunch, including an auction for the Liverpool-based charity.
Neston CC was selected as the venue following a major redevelopment of the ground, which is widely considered to be one of the best in the region.
John Lever, who captained the Old England side, said: “It has been a pleasure to turn out in support of such a vital cause.
“Even though we finished playing professionally many years ago, it’s nice to think that there are individuals prepared to come along, watch some of us old-timers in action and support efforts to beat a disease which touches so many lives.”
England batted first and set a target of 156. Neston fell just six runs short, with highlights included a half-century from skipper Jack Smith and veteran bowler Richard Thorn bowling Derek Randall for five.
North West Cancer Research Fund was founded in 1948 and provides grants to support fundamental research into the causes of cancer.
During the past 60 years, the charity has raised more than £28m.
On average, around 90p in every pound donated has been spent on actual research. At any one time, up to 30 projects are underway, each receiving an average of £95,000 for a three-year study.
Anne Jackson, chief executive of North West Cancer Research Fund, said the event had been “a big success”.