Rotary Club of Rochdale


7th Rochdale Rotary Club Annual Cricket Dinner


An evening with Devon Malcolm, legendary fast bowler.

MC for the evening, John Gwynne, 'the voice of sport'.

Tuesday, September 3rd, 7 for 7:30.

Late replacement  Devon Malcolm bowls them over again!

The annual cricket dinner held by Rochdale Rotary Club was another great evening at the Masonic buildings, Richard street on September the 3rd.

Originally Graeme Swann had agreed to be guest speaker but just 2 weeks before the date the club discovered he was going to be in the Caribbean. At this late stage club member former Test umpire Rotarian John Holder asked the ex- England fast bowler Devon Malcolm.

Thankfully he agreed to come and gave a sparkling talk about his cricket career from his early Jamaican days and England fast bowler .He talked of his encounters with the all-conquering West Indies cricket team led by Viv Richards who he managed to get out on several occasions .His career best was to take 9 wickets in an innings against South Africa. As a result of that performance he met  Nelson Mandela who invited him to come to South Africa where he helped young South Africans become better at their cricket.

The evening was also enhanced by the MC John Gwynne, a well- known commentator in cricket, darts and rugby league. He has a unique way of saying 180! when a maximum is found by dart players using 3 darts. His deep rich voice and dry humour kept the evening flowing.

There was a raffle with a first prize of local artist Geoff Butterworth’s limited-edition print of a watercolour of Yorkshire street Rochdale in the 1960s.Other prizes included Devon Malcolm’s autobiography and John Holder’s latest book on the laws of cricket (You are the Umpire) illustrated in attractive cartoon fashion by Paul Trevillion.

Over 150 guests enjoyed a delicious 3 course meal produced by the Masonic building’s chef. All serving and kitchen staff were given warm applause at the end of the evening.

Auctioneer Adam Partridge of ‘Flog It’ fame is an avid cricket fan and a regular attender at these dinners. He auctioned off some Ashes tickets for the forth-coming old Trafford test match and also an old painting of Lords cricket ground with autographs of many famous cricketers of the past underneath.

Local hospital BMI Highfield were again generous sponsors for the evening.

£4000 was raised for coaching of young amateur Rochdale cricketers and will be administered through the Lancashire cricket foundation a Charity arm of the Lancashire County Cricket board

President of Rotary Ravi Sharma thanked everyone for coming and said

  ’With these dinners our club has raised over £20000 in the last 9 years to help promote cricket amongst our Rochdale youth. It is a great sport -breaks down social barriers , promotes a team ethic and the pursuit of pride in individual performance. It also helps with physical fitness in these days when sedentary lifestyles can be damaging to long term health.’




6th Rochdale Rotary Club Annual Cricket Dinner.


An evening with JIM CUMBES, former professional cricketer & footballer.

CEO of Lancashire CCC.

Thursday, 23rd of August, 7 for 7:30 p.m., at the Rochdale Masonic Buildings, Richard Street, Rochdale.

Tickets £35 each. 3 course dinner (vegitarian option).

Proceeds to fund Youth Cricket Coaching in Rochdale.

Contact John Holder :- 01706 656 4681 or 07974 736 067.


An evening with David Gower  8th August 2017 at Masonic Buildings Richard Street

Former England cricket captain David Gower gave the club an evening off from his busy schedule as Sky sports commentator. The event was as relaxed and humorous as we remember him in his playing days - his first thought was that cricket should be fun and enjoyable for players and spectators. He gave a very interesting talk and his impressions of fellow ex cricketers particularly Sir Ian Botham had the audience of 150 falling off their seats with laughter.

Dudley Doolittle was as amusing as ever. A Raffle and a Geoff Butterworth print helped raise £3700 .

The money raised for the Rochdale Cricket development group will be presented to their secretary at the Friend’s evening on November 2nd.Our Rochdale young cricketers will again be able to have another year of professional coaching which can only be good for their future and that of cricket generally.

John Holder says ‘I was so impressed with David (Gower) and how he brought such a relaxed approach entertaining us all so well on the night.

I first met him when he captained Leicestershire CC and he was just the same then He is so unaffected by all the praise and positive publicity he has received over the years’.

Past President John  gave the vote of thanks to David, to generous Sponsors BMI Highfield Hospital and also presented a Charity donation of £3800 to Medic Malawi’s Stephen Drew -proceeds from the Classic car show .

An evening with Jonathan Agnew "Aggers" Richard Street ,September 2017

Rochdale Rotary Club recently held its annual, cricket themed, dinner at the Masonic Buildings and raised £4,000.

Proceeds from the evening will help in the coaching of young amateur cricketers in the Rochdale area.

Prostate Cancer research will also be supported as it is one of the Rotary Club's charities for 2016/17.

President John Holder is a former test match umpire and is regularly with Jonathan Agnew on Radio's Test Match Special programme commenting on listener’s questions relating to the laws of cricket.

It is the first time 'Aggers', as he is known, has been to Rochdale and he gave an amusing after dinner speech.

Questions from the audience included whether test match cricket will survive when one day cricket is much better attended. Agnew thinks it will but more innovation such has having day/night matches will be needed.

MC for the evening was local comedian Dudley Doolittle, a keen cricket follower and the event was sponsored by the BMI Highfield Hospital.

The Rotary Club gave Agnew a cake made by a friend of the club, Heather Williams (cakes are a regular snack item in the Test Match Special commentary box) and this was much discussed and eaten at the Old Trafford England versus Pakistan Test the day after.

The cake commemorates the famous Ian Botham incident when he nearly 'got his leg over' the stumps 25 years ago when England played West Indies.

John Holder also umpired in that match.

President John Holder thanked 'Aggers' for attending and said: "This has been one of the best evenings of entertainment we have had since our cricket dinners started in 2011."

Previous Dinners were

 An Evening with Michael Holding

         Richard St Masonic Buildings THURSDAY 7 PM 10TH SEPTEMBER 2015

Former West Indies legendary fast bowler and current Sky Sports Cricket commentator Michael Holding aka "Whispering Death" came to Rochdale for an evening’s Charity event  on 10th September 2015

£4000 was made to fund cricket coaching for Rochdale Amateur cricketers under  the administration of the Rochdale Cricket Development group

 a 3 course dinner was followed by a Question and Answer session from  Mikey-all this under the watchful eye of Comedian Dudley Doolittle

A raffle was held prizes included Old Trafford International tickets ,Centenary Lancashire book signed by all the players and afternoon tea at Nutters

An Original Acrylic painting on Canvas board by Geoff Butterworth FRSA   entitled Home Win showed a floodlit Old Trafford during a recent 20/20 Match Lancs V Derby .It was auctioned off for £500.An autographed Cricket bat signed by Clive Lloyd and many famous cricketers was auctioned off for £400 half going to the Sarah Perch hope fund a Cancer charity at Christie hospital.

Highfield BMI Hospital sponsored the event .It has been the most successful club cricket event so far.



On 20th March 2014 Rochdale Rotary Club presented 

'The Umpires Strike Back'

An Evening with   

John Holder and Neil Mallender

Cricket Test Match Umpires




Rotarian John Holder and team produced another evening which bowled us over. The Masonic staff did us proud with a delicious meal and Malcolm Ashton gave a masterly performance as MC.Special mention again to Hill's Packaging for their generous sponsorship for the 3rd year in a row.

'Darth Vader' John and 'Ghost' Neil Mallender were asked questions varying from handling sweaty caps to being an electronic umpire. Use of technical wizardry like hot spot and Hawkeye are here to stay to help in getting a more accurate view of controversial moments –is the batsman out or not? It seems professional cricketers are increasingly using the technology more for tactical purposes in situations where only the umpire can decide on the dismissal. The use of the technology was meant to eradicate the occasional bad umpiring decision. There were insights into some of the characters of cricket-Shane Warne, Kevin Pieterson Derek Randall . The obvious enjoyment both umpires had experienced both playing and umpiring cricket was obvious on the night.

With the help of a raffle and Standup bingo and auction everyone had a great time; money to go  to amateur youth player coaching in Rochdale

Anyone who missed the evening or wants a copy of proceedings a video record is available from me at £10 to go in club charity account.

PP Elvet Smith


2013’s event

Rochdale Rotary Club thanks Mike Gatting OBE, former Middlesex County Championship and Ashes winning captain, now an ECB top administrator as Managing Director - Cricket Partnerships, for coming to Rochdale for an evening’s Charity event at the Mercure Norton Grange Hotel ,Castleton on Thursday 21st March 2013.
All proceeds from the evening likely to be around £2000 will provide much needed cricket coaching for Rochdale Amateur cricketers The Mayor Councillor Jim Gartside and Mike were warmly welcomed by President David Smithard

There was a 3 course dinner followed by entertainment from ‘Gatts’-all this under the watchful eye of Former test match umpire Rotarian John Holder.Gatts related many stories of his test match career with travels to many countries playing with the likes of Graham Gooch and David Gower.He described many hair raising batting experiences facing the West Indians fast bowlers in their prime(his nose suffered) and his famous dismissal by Shane Warne when the leg break spun so much he didn't realise his bail was dislodged.

Rochdale’s very own comedian Dudley Doolittle had everyone in creases!
There was a raffle with glittering prizes and an opportunity to purchase cricket memorabilia. This was  a great entertaining experience and our local amateur cricketers will benefit from everyone's generosity including sponsors for the evening HILLS PACKAGING!    

2012’s inaugural event An Evening with former England Cricket Captain Michael Vaughan

ROCHDALE ROTARY CLUB entered new cricketing territory as the first Rotary Club in Lancashire to sponsor cricket coaching for young amateur cricketers (our club will help cricketers in Rochdale Borough).   The game of cricket is a great opportunity for pursuit of fitness, friendship and teamwork ;modern society needs to have people who have experience of these attributes.

Our  membership now includes former Test Match Umpire John Holder who has asked his long term friend Michael Vaughan(Ashes winning England Captain-now cricket pundit) to come as guest celebrity to a fundraising evening on Thursday 15th March 2012.It was held in the exclusive Mercure Norton Grange Hotel  from 7.30 pm and over 180 cricket enthusiasts attended

The evening was generously sponsored by Hill's Packaging of Rochdale

'Vaughany' was ready to answer questions on all aspects of modern day cricket and with his vast experience of cricket life in the fast lane as a top test match captain at the highest level; it was  a unique view of one of the game's great players.

Former umpire Rotarian John Holder  gave a balanced view of proceedings and was able to keep calm when excitement is rising.

Comedian Terri Cotta  raised a smile and Master of Ceremonies Malcolm Ashton (Test Match Special Statistician)kept everyone's number in mind!

There was a 3 course tasty meal with sale of cricket memorabilia including a signed framed photograph of Lancashire's Championship winning team and a signed bat from England's Ashes tour of Australia.There was a  raffle with special prizes including a Champagne tea at Nutter's Restaurant

Net proceeds of £2500 will go to providing cricket coaching to our Rochdale amateurs.

It was a very successful evening and a similar event will happen again next year.

Contact Information

Rotary Club of Rochdale

Masonic Buildings
Richard Street
OL11 1DU

Tel: 01706 767409

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