Ben Shepperson proud of records as he bows out at Mildenhall Cricket Club as longest serving first-teamer
Ben Shepperson has said he leaves Mildenhall with ‘pride’ at being the cricket club’s longest serving first team player.
The 27-year-old batsman has signed for Dorridge Cricket Club in the Birmingham & District Premier League, after changes to his personal circumstances led to him relocating.
The former Culford School pupil started his career at the East Anglian Premier Division club at the age of nine and, barring one year with Woolpit, has spent his entire playing time at the Wamil Way club.
He has scored 5,642 first team runs – and more than 11,000 runs in total – in over a decade of playing the game.
“My love for Mildenhall is great,” he said. “There’s a reason potential moves to other clubs have never materialised, I’ve always wanted to play at Wamil Way.
“I’m definitely the longest serving first team player, I don’t think anyone else is even remotely close to that and I’m proud of that.
“I’m also proud of the amount of runs I have amassed for the club.”
While Shepperson is pleased with the records he leaves behind, it is the memories, he pointed out, that will stick forever.
“Those are just numbers at the end of the day,” he said. “It’s the memories and the people I have met that have made the last decade special.
“Obviously the first team are competitive in the EAPL but it’s the volunteers and the people that keep this club running that make the difference.
“The club has such a great vibe and everyone goes the extra mile to make it what it is.
“It’s like a home, my home, and I wish them all the best. I would love to see them win the EAPL.”
He admitted that if there was one stone left unturned in his time at the club, it was the EAPL title eluding him – with the team’s best chance coming in 2018, his final season as first team captain.
Mildenhall wrapped up third place in the standings.
But they found 2019 much tougher, and struggled to replicate their strong form of the summer before as they finished in a bottom-half 10th.
“I don’t think they’ll miss me too much,” Shepperson said. “They’ve got two good players coming in already so I think they will have a much stronger season.
“In fact, I hope they have a great season – I would love to see them win the EAPL.”
The 2020 season will be the first without Vauxhall Mallards since its inception, with the club having folded mere months ago.
Shepperson said it was ‘sad to see’, particularly as his fondest memory with Mildenhall sees the Mallards in a starring role.
“That’s my best, my favourite memory: our first ever match in the EAPL against Vauxhall Mallards,” he said.
“We had just been promoted and we had no idea where we were as a team in terms of EAPL standards, no one really knew if we were good enough to be there.
“And I hit 97 not out in probably my best innings for the club, it was massive.
“It had always been my goal to play in the EAPL and it was really special.”