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An Audience with Sir Viv Richards

Published Tuesday 4th of October 2011 09:38:51 AM

On Sunday 2nd October, Gresham's welcomed to the Auden Theatre cricketing legend Sir Vivian Richards. Accompanying Sir Viv were the Antiguan Netball Coach, Karen Joseph and Don Gooding, leading Sports Tour Operator who were visiting the UK to promote Cricket and Netball tours to Antigua.

After retiring from Test cricket, Sir Vivian Richards was coach of the West Indies team and chairman of selectors, he also received an honorary knighthood for his services to cricket, and was named as one of Wisden Five Cricketers of the Century in 2000.

Mr Alan Ponder (former Gresham's Cricket coach) opened the evening by welcoming Sir Viv, Mr Don Gooding, Karen Joseph and invited guests to Gresham's. Don Gooding and Karen Joseph each spoke about the opportunities available to take Netball and Cricket tours to Antigua. Sir Viv then talked about Antigua, the country he loves so much, and invited questions from the floor. There were many interesting questions from the guests, which included some representatives from Gresham's First Cricket Team. One question put to Sir Viv was why, despite facing some of the finest bowlers ever to play the game, he opted to wear a cap rather than a cricket helmet? His response was that it was not because of arrogance but simply that the type of helmet at the time did not suit his style of play and he preferred instead to wear a cap! Sir Viv was an interesting speaker and the guests listened intently to his anecdotes both on and off the cricket field.

Guests were also treated to a surprise visit by Kenneth Taylor and his son Nick, who arrived to present prints which Ken had produced of the legendary batsman. Ken, a talented sportsman, has played in three Tests for England and played first-class cricket for Yorkshire as well as being a highly talented football player. After retiring from cricket and football, he taught art in Norfolk for over thirty years, during which time he spent many years teaching at Gresham's. His son, Nick Taylor (Old Greshamian), had also played cricket with Sir Viv and competed for Yorkshire, Surrey and Somerset. Ken kindly donated prints of Sir Viv which he had produced for guests to purchase, proceeds from which were donated to the Sir Vivian Richards Foundation. Sir Viv willingly signed autographs, miniature cricket bats and posed for photographs, much to the delight of the guests.

The evening culminated with Sir Viv presenting a signed cricket bat to Gresham's Headmaster, Philip John.
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