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Ben Shepperson selects his top team-mates from his long association with Mildenhall Cricket Club




Ben Shepperson scored in excess of 11,000 runs during his long stint playing for Mildenhall.

Apart from one season at Woolpit, the Suffolk CCC player spent more than a decade with the Wamil Way-based outfit.

As a result he has a number of players to pick from, but which ones made the biggest impact on him?

CRICKET - Bury St Edmunds (Bowling/Fielding) v Mildenhall (Batting)..Pictured: Ben Shepperson batting...PICTURE: Mecha Morton. (34371720)
CRICKET - Bury St Edmunds (Bowling/Fielding) v Mildenhall (Batting)..Pictured: Ben Shepperson batting...PICTURE: Mecha Morton. (34371720)

Speaking about his selections, he said: “All of the guys mentioned share one thing, and I believe that’s why they have all appeared. They are all fiercely competitive and their will to win is so visible to all at the club.”

Lou Handy: I already had a competitive instinct as a young lad, but I looked up to Lou on the field, he is a real competitor. He always used a phrase that I stole and used as captain myself: “When the opposition are down, stamp on them and do not move your foot until the game is done.”

As I grew older, I moved up and he moved down but he began to offer the club so much more. He became club chairman and still does an unbelievable job. I have the utmost respect for Lou and I really do look up to him.

Mildenhall CC chairman Lou Handy (left) with Tino Best (34371788)
Mildenhall CC chairman Lou Handy (left) with Tino Best (34371788)

Steve Lankester: I played under him when he was both second XI and then first XI captain, and learned a phenomenal amount. He was a great sportsman, he had a brilliant brain and a different aura on the field to anyone else I’ve played with.

He changed games on his own with bat and ball, but sometimes it was just him and it wasn’t anything he actually did.

He also taught me how to play the game in the right spirit. He did some crazy things, calling back batsmen, declaring against our rivals when the scores were level to name a couple. He always played the game in a jovial manner which I loved.

Steve Taylor: Undoubtedly the best overseas pro we have had in my time. Cricket wise, he was superb. He broke the game into small battles and would talk you through them over-by-over.

MILDENHALL: Cricket - Mildenhall v Witham.Mildenhall bowler Steve Taylor .Picture Mark Westley. (34371938)
MILDENHALL: Cricket - Mildenhall v Witham.Mildenhall bowler Steve Taylor .Picture Mark Westley. (34371938)

He knew if he won a little battle he would win us the game and he did on so many occasions.

A key player to help us get promoted, it would have been great for him to represent us in the Premier League and help me as captain in that first year.

His attitude to training and his love for scoring runs showed us all a new intensity to follow in order to improve. Cricket aside, he is truly fantastic man and a great friend.

Eddie Finnis: I grew up playing with Eddie. We were in the same year, same class and same cricket team from the age of eight or nine years old. I have probably shared more cricketing memories with him than anybody else.

CRICKET: Mildenhall v Sudbury Ryan Vickery batting for Sudbury, caught by Ed Finnis off the bowling of Ben SheppersonPicture by Mark Westley. (34371992)
CRICKET: Mildenhall v Sudbury Ryan Vickery batting for Sudbury, caught by Ed Finnis off the bowling of Ben SheppersonPicture by Mark Westley. (34371992)

He is similar to me in a sense that he wantsto win and wants the club to succeed above and beyond his own success.

He’s a great character, he can be raging one minute and in hysterical laughter the very next ball and that is one of the reasons I’ve enjoyed playing with him so much over the years.

Tom Allen: Tom is brilliant to take the field with. He came through the youth system and has been a fringe first-team player for over five years now, but I know exactly what he will give us when he plays – 100 per cent, positivity, laughs and beers afterwards.

He was my ‘golden arm’ during my stint as captain and he has played his part in a lot of Mildenhall wins I’ve been involved in.

Mildenhall v Swardeston..Tom Allen celebrates a wicket with a fine catch by the keeper..Picture Mark Westley. (34372016)
Mildenhall v Swardeston..Tom Allen celebrates a wicket with a fine catch by the keeper..Picture Mark Westley. (34372016)

He is a great lad, a real club man, great fun and a perfect example to the next generation coming through.

Joe Reed: Joe has given me some of my greatest, funniest and most memorable moments on a cricket field (and most stressful)!

Not only a great character and friend, Joe has produced some of the most outrageous innings I’ve ever seen.

His dedication to practise is a great example to the younger lads as he scores runs in massive volumes when he gets on a run and he is undoubtedly the most feared player I’ve ever played with at Mildenhall.

My top five cricketers (click on name to view their list)

Rob Thurley, Darren Batch


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