Following a nationwide search, Chippingdale heroes Matt and Julie Bourne have collected the Hardys Wines Heartbeat of the Club 2018 award.
The official wine of England Cricket, Hardys, searched for the unsung heroes of club cricket and having made the shortlist, which was selected by a panel of experts including England star Stuart Broad, Matt and Julie Bourne of Chipps have been named winners following a public vote.
The Bournes were nominated for their years of tireless dedication to the Chippingdale cause. Matt has coached at the club for the last decade and played for 17 years before hanging up his studs to umpire the first XI.
Further to this Matt has taken up the role of unofficial physio, going so far as to pop-in an opposition player’s dislocated finger, as well as running all club communications.
He holds the record of sending 250 consecutive newsletters to the club members. His wife Julie serves an equally important role, taking charge of all that goes on behind the scenes, from managing the club’s finances to taking charge of all pastoral care.
The Bournes are also known to hold impromptu cricket matches in their back garden, a popular club tradition which has run for a number of years.
Matt and Julie’s enthusiasm for the club has clearly rubbed off on their family, with their son Josh currently captaining the first XI and their daughter skipper of Chippingdale's ladies team.
Matt and Julie’s reward for being named the Hardys Heartbeat of the Club 2018 is to win a visit from a fully stocked Hardys Pavilion (the mobile wine bar which attends every England international) to Chippingdale for an end of season party. Hardys will also bring down an England cricket legend to join in with the festivities.
After learning of the success, Matt said: "We’re absolutely stunned. Making the final XI alongside such strong nominations was an achievement in itself - we never imagined we’d be crowned overall winners!
"I know everyone at the club is ecstatic and can’t wait to welcome the Hardys Pavilion to Chippingdale. It has been a fine season for the club with two out of three teams promoted and the first XI winning the county T20 Championship, this will no doubt be the perfect way to celebrate. Thank you to Hardys Wine for making this all possible.”
England seamer Stuart Broad, who has taken 433 Test wickets in his career to date, said: "I’m delighted to hear that Matt and Julie Bourne have won the Hardys Heartbeat of the Club 2018. Having read their nomination it’s clear that Chippingdale Cricket Club is a model for what a thriving club looks like and much of this can be put down to the efforts of Matt and Julie. Their work is vital to the upkeep of their local cricket club and it is brilliant to see them rewarded by Hardys Wine.”
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