All at W&HCC are desperately sad at the passing of Val Day who had served the club for so many years and who died on Sunday 24 March 2019. Our President Peter Murphy details Val's lengthy career at Brewery Road. 

Val’s playing career for Horsell CC, Horsell and Woking CC and Woking & Horsell CC spanned at least 45 years up to his final season in 1997.  He was among a group of young sportsmen at Woking Grammar School who left in the early 1950s and started to play for Horsell CC.  Val was always known as a hard hitter but in the early part of his career he was a late order batsman, his main role being as an opening bowler for the club 2nd XI, the very strong 1st XI of the era being hard to break into.  At some point in the mid-1960s Val’s bowling action lost its rhythm and he began to struggle for control of length and direction.  He was not bowling well enough to justify regular selection in that role, but he had no intention whatever of giving up a game he hugely enjoyed.  It was an easy decision for him to decide to focus instead on his batting and in a short space of time he had converted himself into a regular and reliable 2nd XI middle order batsman.  His concession to becoming a batsman rather than a bowling all-rounder was to play with more caution at the start of his innings but the power and aggression was not lost in the transition and if Val succeeded in playing himself in he took much pleasure in striking the ball improbably long distances to the dismay of many opposition attacks.

Val was always a one-day-a-weekend player (in an era when more people played both Saturdays and Sundays than is the case now) and his preference was for Sunday cricket.  However when the club started to play league cricket in 1974 he was keen to have a go at that and was soon installed for a period of successful captaincy of the Saturday 2nd XI, his return from away fixtures to announce “AND STILL UNDEFEATED…..” being a highlight of many a Saturday evening in the club bar.  Later Val returned his availability to Sundays, often a mainstay of the Sunday 2nd XI batting and still a significant run-scorer up to the end of his career.

Val’s career as a player, lengthy and productive as it was, provides only part of the story of his overall contribution to the club.  Having produced three sons, all with a love of the game and a desire to play for the club, Val began a long period as a coach and mentor to young players learning the game.  His coaching sessions on the far side of the field from the pavilion have assumed almost legendary status, as several of the messages which have appeared in recent days on social media bear testimony to.  This is where so many of the players who emerged from the WHCC colts in the 1980s and 1990s first learned their cricket, and indeed probably learned a few other things not necessarily contained in the MCC coaching manual.

Val was an old-fashioned club man who saw his role as a club member being not merely to play or even just to coach but to support the club in every way he could.  He was not a man to miss a work day or any other summons to carry out tasks that needed doing, although as someone who joined his Monday-night working parties during a pavilion-revamping project in the late 60s I would assess his talents in lying more on the demolition side of the rebuilding process. 

Although Val’s playing days do not seem so long in the past for some of us, it is inevitable that the great majority of current club members knew Val only as a loyal watcher and supporter of the club, and a pithy commentator on whatever was unfolding in front of him on the field of play.  His comments were always framed with the sense of humour and shrewd assessment of character that had won Val so many friends and raised so much laughter down the years, and few indeed were those who bore any ill-will even if his observations about their performance were not entirely complimentary.  Far more people indeed benefited from the opportunity to take on board some of the cricketing wisdom acquired by Val over a long career and always willingly passed on.

For those of us privileged to listen to Val’s contributions to the weekly Sunday drinkers’ debate, many of them unorthodox and some not bearing repetition, those Sunday sessions will never be the same again.  And by the same token, we can be sure the club will not see the likes of Val again.  

 

TRIBUTES

There have been plenty of tributes on social media:

 

Peter Smith - I'm not ashamed to admit I'm in bits. Without doubt the single biggest influence on my entire cricketing career. The man who never ever stopped believing in me. I owe him everything. RIP Val. The man was and is a total legend. Every thought with his family right now.

Toby Green - Val was the man who first coached me (which will be true for a lot of others). I also got to play with him as I moved through the club. He was an absolute legend. To my young eyes, he hit the ball miles and caught everything that went near him. An awesome bloke.

Rupert Kitzinger - Sad sad news and my thoughts are with everyone and especially the Day family. RIP Val and thank you for all your support and advice growing up which helped shape my cricketing career.

Malcolm Eddington - My thoughts and best wishes are with the Day family today. I will dearly miss Val's words of spring encouragement as to how "well" I have wintered.

Seb Egan - Val was a true legend, fought in my corner on more than one occasion. The first person who wanted to know how I was doing week in week out, the first to moan about live Twitter updates. RIP you may be gone but never forgotten.

Dean Faulkner - So sad to hear this. Value you will be sorely missed. Thoughts and prayers with Nick, Jerry, Pete and the family. RIP Val

Chris Murphy - Very sad news. A great club man and character. Condolences to all the family.

Shelly Lane - Sending my sincere condolences x

Andrew Murphy - Having been around long enough to not only to be coached by Val but to play in the same team as him, this is desperately sad news. My thoughts are with the Day family. He will be sorely missed at Brewery Road. Rest in peace, Val.

Nicola McMahon - Sorry to hear the news. RIP

Ian Meyer - Sorry to hear the sad news. Thoughts with the family.

Brian Curr - Very sad news, lovely man, thoughts to his family and friends.

Mike Walsh - The club has lost another stalwart, legend and great friend. Ever since I have been (and obviously well before) at Woking Horsell Val has always seemed to be in and around the clubhouse! Either post Saturday match day or Sunday lunchtime sitting in the club corner with his favoured glass or behind the bar helping out. He always asked how ‘Walshy’ got on (on most occasions poorly) I was proceeded to be told that I should have not flaffed around and bloody well of hit it then!!! I am gutted for Nick, Jerry, Pete and family. The club will certainly be an empty and sadder place without him around. Keep playing those big shots up there Val.

Doug Newton - Sincere condolences to Jerry, Pete and the Day family. Val was an absolute gent to be around and always good for a discussion about the days play with a beer in hand. Will be sadly missed at Brewery Road.

Ramesh Parthysarathy - Sorry to hear the news, heartfelt condolences to the bereaved family....RIP.

Steve Jones - Oh no. He will always be our legend. All our love. Jonesy, Beci and Freddie. Xxx

Richard Thompson - Such sad news. A wonderful man who told you the truth and how it was. Great Company. Our sincere condolences to the Day family. Thinking of you all.

Tracy Rafter - A wonderful man, who will be greatly missed by everyone who knew him. Sunday lunchtimes will be sad without him.

Lyn Johnson - Very sad news , will miss him big time . Sunday lunch times , especially in the winter months will never be the same. Condolences to all his family

Indi Fernando - So sorry to hear.. our sincere condolences to the Day family. RIP

Jamie McMahon - What a huge loss to both the Day and W&H families. Always a constant gentleman (except when discussing the footballers!) and did so much for the club in his time. I'm personally so grateful for all his help with the bar and the clubhouse. He is most certainly sorely missed by us all. RIP.

Robin Millar - Sad news. I remember Val fondly as one of the club's "elder statesmen" who we're there every Sunday lunchtime when I opened the bar to have a pint and set the world to rights. Good innings Sir...

Iain Pringle - Really sorry to hear this. Val was a great guy and a truly great bat. RIP

George Grafton - How sad. The Sunday lunch crowd will greatly miss him. I first met him when he ran the very young Colts session and we spent many a Sunday morning trying to maintain order. .. My condolences to the family. A great member in every aspect of the club.

Vir Singh - RIP

Jerry Allan - Very sad to hear this. From the Sunday morning colts sessions in the 80's, the coach of the colts in the 90's and through to the latter years, it was always a pleasure to see Val at the clubhouse. A true Legend of the club. Thoughts to the whole Day family.

Richard Walsh - Sad news to hear....Was a pleasure to of played under you when i was growing up and making my way through the grades, gave me a lot of great advice whilst i was 1st team captain...will be sorely missed and im sure the Sunday lunchtime session will toast in your honor..condolences to the Day clan.. will raise a glass for you tonight...RIP.

Jeevan Rai - Sad to hear the news, Heartfelt condolences to the bereaved family....RIP

Oli Guy - Sad news. Thoughts are with the family. RIP Val.

Paul Fortescue - Sad to hear this. Made me feel welcome at the club (via a thorough grilling!) and very much part of the furniture- especially on a Sunday. Condolences to you all, Day family.

Roger White - Deepest condolences and thinking of Jerry and Pete through this difficult period. Loved bouncing into Val come cricket day - I will miss that.

Keith Goodwin - Such sad news. It was a pleasure to have played cricket with him all those years ago and I always enjoyed watching him clear the pavilion. One of my all time favourite batsmen to watch. A real gent who was always great company to have a good chat with over a beer. The clubhouse will feel emptier without Val. A true club legend and what a nice bloke.

Matt Lock - Very sad news. Thoughts with the Day Family. Will miss chewing the fat with Val about all things Gloucester Rugby on Saturdays. RIP Val.

Damo Honey - So so sad, but some wonderful comments and memories on here of a true W&H legend. I will never forget the lovely welcome I had when I joined the club from Val, not just to me but to my parents too, a real gent. Only played a couple of games with him but will always remember his bucket hands! Thoughts with all the Day family. RIP

Peter Grafton - From coaching me in the under 7s, playing my first Sunday 3xi game and finally graduating to Sunday drinking club, Val was there at each step of the way. Deepest Condolences to the Day family.

Mary Faulkner - So sad love to the Days from the Faulkner's

 

 

 

 

 

Go to top