Published: 11 February 2017
It is always hard to express sorrow through communication when a cherished Woking and Horsell Club member of any era passes away. This is doubtless the case when it is a current playing member known by so many due to his captaincy on Saturdays and Sundays or providing coaching to our junior members. It is unbelievably a year on since we wrote these words and we lost our valued member and friend David Lane.
We all have our own personal memories and gratitude for Dave and it is clear to see how popular he was from the tributes on social media last year. We hope this highlights the positive impact he made both on and off the field. Dave will be remembered at Brewery Road for his passion for the club, his unstinting hard work, his efforts to ensure everyone of all ages and abilities got a game of cricket, as well as his delight in the achievements of others.
Dave re-joined the club in 2010. He had not played cricket for a number of years, concentrating more on his young family and football, especially Spurs. If you weren't aware, Dave was an avid Tottenham Hotspur fan. He may have mentioned it once or twice! Unfortunately his Spurs shirt was also favourite white shirt of choice!
He began primarily as a bowler and in his early years was often situated at number eleven or in amongst the late order. Playing 125 recorded club games, although this was certainly many, many more due to sketchy playing records, Dave took 137 wickets at a very impressive average of 19.42. His best bowling figures of 6 for 37 were against Worcester Park in a Sunday game in June 2013.Perhaps we need to question the club’s selection committee policy and ask why he did not consistently play at a higher level! Based on his bowling achievements the club awarded Dave the accolade of 5th team bowler of the year in 2012.
Unlike some of his number 11 club contemporaries, Dave’s batting significantly improved. This was through personal dedication and desire. Also, unlike a majority of his playing peers, he went to most practice nets both summer and winter and it was unusual not to see him there let alone one of the first to arrive or last to leave. Through his determination he became a difficult player to dismiss either through gritty or instant 20s or 30s. It became evident he had the ability to bat most numbers from early to late order depending on the make-up of the team. This highlighted his unselfish attitude. Based on the strength or the make-up of the team he would either play as a batsman or bowler. Equally, it also became quite common that he had to don the wicket keeping gloves because there was no one else capable of doing so. In view of this Dave became a very reliable keeper for the 5ths, so much so he gained the call up to the 4ths on occasions, and for the 3rds in the last ever league game he played for W&H at the end of last season.
Dave played the majority of his cricket in the Saturday 5th and Sunday 2nd teams. To most people Dave was the 5th team, captaining them from their formative years in 2010 and 2011, when games were based on club availability, and then from 2012 when the 5th team entered league cricket for the first time. In their first season they came a credible 9th out of 16 in division two of the Surrey League. Lately, Dave captained the 5th team in the 4XI Surrey Championship West, achieving a competitive 7th out of 10th in the league last summer against other clubs 4th teams.
Although Dave was Mr Woking & Horsell 5th team he did play a number of 4th team games. In fact, if he was not the 5th team captain he would no doubt have played significantly more at a higher level. He also had the opportunity to play briefly in the Saturday 2nd and 3rd teams. Unfortunately, when making his one and only appearance for the second team, he drove to Oxted when we were actually playing Oxshott, over 20 miles in the wrong direction!! After almost nearly missing his 2nd team debut he eventually arrived an hour after the game had started and promptly let the first ball he received in the field through his legs for four!
This was only a small part of the Woking and Horsell Dave Lane that most saw. The effort and dedication that captains make during the week to get a full team on the field is often immeasurable. Dave did this both days! He did this for the lowest team on the rung on both days. If someone pulled out on Friday night in the first team it was Dave who ultimately had to find a player, sometimes from nowhere. Dave did this for five years. Also, notably, the 5th team have no fixed home club ground, which the top four teams on Saturday now have the pleasure of enjoying. Because of this, Dave often had to visit Brewery Road before a match to pick up stumps, chairs, tables etc to take them to an appropriate destination. Dave’s wife Shelly was often fundamental in providing his teams with teas. Due to his overriding dedication and selflessness the club awarded Dave a resounding and well deserved accolade of clubman of the year in 2011, an award which he was often in the running for in subsequent years.
Also, unnoticed by many, but not by the junior members of the club, was his coaching. Dave gained his Level 1 coaching qualification in Spring 2011 and along with our Chairman Peter Smith he took on the management of the U7s that year. He moved on to coach the U8s in 2012 and 2013 coaching his son William. He coached the U9s in 2014 and the U10s in 2015.
Dave had his own unequivocal style and whatever he did was in his view the best for the club. The fact he constantly organised games during his week, drove kit or players from one venue to another over a number of years highlights his selflessness.
There are so many more words the club can supply in respect of Dave Lane’s contribution; unfortunately there are none strong enough to describe how he is still missed by his family or friends. Our thoughts go out to his wife Michelle, and his children Chloe and William a year on.
The biggest tribute that the club can state is that there is still a huge gap at W&H which is having to be filled by many people. Rest in peace our friend. Your life was far too short but we thoroughly enjoyed the time you spent at W&HCC and we will always be grateful for just how much you did for so many people.