Graham Gooch returns to Sporting Memories – this time in Dagenham
Earlier this month (18 May) we welcomed back former England and Essex opener Graham Gooch to one of our Sporting Memories sessions supported by Essex Cricket in the Community, with Graham visiting our club hosted at the home of Dagenham and Redbridge FC.
Sharing Cricketing memories with the audience
Graham was joined by over 40 people from the local community in attendance, including members from our weekly club held at the ground, as well as Cllr Saima Ashraf, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Community Leadership & Engagement.
Graham had the audience in rapture as he spoke about his early life growing up in Leyton and playing cricket across Essex, before moving on to share stories from his professional career in the game on a domestic and international level.
Members of the audience in attendance were also given the opportunity to ask Graham about his career, how he mentally prepared to bat as well as the posing a question around the future of test cricket.
As the session came to a close, Graham was then asked to present Club Facilitator, Brian Tunney, with a special award on behalf of Essex Cricket for his volunteering efforts in the local community.
Reaction to the event
Brian Tunney, who works for Dagenham and Redbridge Community Trust and facilitates the Sporting Memories sessions said: “I couldn’t be more happier and I’m thrilled to bits with how the event with Graham went. Everyone seemed to enjoy Graham speaking about his time in Cricket and we had some great questions asked from members as well.”
Denis Lawrence, Manager of the Dagenham and Redbridge Community Trust, reflected on the importance of the club held each week: “It’s not always about the sporting memories shared – it’s about the camaraderie, the friendships and sometimes it’s a case of being in a warm room and having a cup of tea!
“Today was the pinnacle of what we’ve achieved so far as a Sporting Memories club, because having Graham here will hopefully encourage others to attend regularly and means we can provide what we feel is an essential service to the community.”
Arfan Akram, East London Cricket Operations Manager for Essex Cricket, said: “The collaboration with Sporting Memories is so important for us. We know the past few years have been tough for older people – facing isolation and loneliness due to the pandemic, so we thought it work well in terms of creating some form of community and social inclusion for people across east London and Essex.”
“The event was a celebration of all the hard work that has been put in to getting the club up and running in Dagenham, and to have the legend that is Graham Gooch to talk about his career has been brilliant.”
To find out more about our club at Dagenham, please contact Arfan via firstname.lastname@example.org