CRICKET: Milestone man Terry Day has done everything from hitting centuries to cleaning the clubhouse for his beloved Eaton Socon
- Credit: Archant
Eaton Socon’s victory against Kimbolton in the Cambs & Hunts Premier League last Saturday was special for a number of reasons.
Not only did the win keep them in contention for promotion and a first title at Whiting & Partners Division One level, but it was also the 1,000th time that club president Terry Day has appeared for the Eagles’ adult section.
Now 40, Day first pulled on an Eaton Socon shirt for the third team as a 13 year-old all the way back in 1991.
“I used to go along as 12th man and scorer back in those days,” said Day. “It was a case of bring your kit and if somebody drops out, then you’re playing.”
After some handy scores for the third team, Day was eventually elevated to the second team, for whom he recorded his first-ever century against Huntingdon in 1994, at the age of 16.
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“I remember it well because they had to play an extra over before tea to help me get the ton,” continued Day.
“I was on 99 and tea was due at 4pm, but the umpires were told we could fit one more over in and I finally scored my hundred.
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“I had never even scored a fifty before that, so to get a hundred without giving away a chance was brilliant.”
As Day left behind his teenage years, he also outgrew second team cricket. Not only did he become a first-team regular in 1997, but just a year later he was thrown into the deep-end as a mass exodus of players meant he became captain at the age of 20.
Day added: “I was told ‘you’re 20 years old now, it’s time to give something back to the club’, so I agreed to become vice captain at the AGM.
“Then a few minutes after the first team captain stood for another season, he stood up again and announced his resignation!
“It was a case of ‘oh, so I’m the first team captain now am I?’ It was very bizarre!”
Day’s first season at the helm was a baptism of fire, starting with a golden duck in the first game, and ending with a relegation to Division Two of the Hunts League.
However, after 18 years of peaks and troughs, Day ended his reign as captain on a high note in 2015 as Eaton Socon went unbeaten to gain promotion to the top division of the Cambs & Hunts Premier League for the first time in the club’s history.
Day’s best season on a personal level was in 2010, when he broke the club record for most runs in a season. He plundered 1602 runs at an average of 46, including 12 half centuries and one hundred.
Despite his stand-out achievements with the bat, Day has also contributed plenty off the pitch as a true club man.
“I’ve been a barman, umpire, scorer and coach,” he recalled. “I’ve been a part-time groundsman when Richard Presland is away, and I’ve even been the cleaner at one point. You name it, I’ve done it.”
After completing such a rare achievement, Day admits that it’s hard to know what the next challenge is for his cricketing career.
“Playing 1,000 games was my last real target,” admitted Day. “I’ve now played for 28 seasons, so I suppose my next goal is to reach the 30-year mark for the club. That will mean I’ve played in four different decades.
“A lot of people have said I should try and make 1,500 games, but that would probably mean playing for another 20 years and there is no way I could do that!
“It’s a case of taking it year by year now, but as long as the mind and body are still willing, I’ll carry on playing.”
Day, who contributed one run from the two balls he faced on Saturday, was presented with a special cap by his Eaton Socon team-mates to recognise his milestone.
His willingness to give up his time for the club was again highlighted this summer as Day became a regular member of their Development side.
The Hunts League Division Five title-winning team was created to provide players emerging from Eaton Socon’s thriving junior section outings in senior cricket while in the presence of experienced men to guide them.