Written by Peter Murphy
 
Woking and Horsell Cricket Club has lost one of its most loyal and long-standing supporters and servants with the death early in the new year of Bob Hollands following a short, non-Covid-related illness. Bob had taken part, on the Sunday before Christmas, in the last online meeting of the year of the Club’s “Sunday drinkers”, who share the devastation of his family - devoted wife Ros and the couple’s three children – at his sudden demise.
 
Having played most of his previous cricket in Kent, Bob moved to Woking to take up a job at locally-based Cornhill Insurance and started playing for Woking and Horsell in 1975.  His primary role was as a slow-left-arm bowler although he could bat usefully in the later order. He soon became a fixture in the Saturday 2nd XI where he played much of his cricket until retiring from playing some 10 years later.  Not a big spinner of the ball his reliability as a line and length bowler earned him a steady haul of wickets season-by-season in a good team, usually finishing in the higher reaches of their league table.
 
Clubs like ours waste little time in identifying people who are willing and able to contribute in off-the-field roles and Bob was soon brought on to the Committee, doing a brief stint as Assistant Secretary before taking on the role of Treasurer for 3 years from 1979. After giving up his playing commitments, Bob became more involved in helping the expanding youth section of the club as a coach and age-group manager but also found time to raise much-needed funds as the 200-Club manager. In the early 1990s he started to reduce his involvement with youth cricket and to channel his support for the club, and his own love of the game, through umpiring, becoming the club’s regular Saturday 2nd XI umpire and maintaining that commitment into the new millennium. Fair-minded and unflappable he embodied what any and every league 2nd XI is looking for in an umpire.
 
That summarises Bob’s long and varied service to the club, but he will be remembered as much as anything for the quality of his company and quiet, and on occasion mischievous, good humour. He enjoyed the social element of playing, umpiring and watching and consistently maintained his support for the club, mostly on Sunday lunchtimes and often in the company of Ros, after his well-deserved retirement from his various commitments. “Much missed” can be an overdone statement in circumstances of loss but it is totally apposite in Bob’s case.  
 
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