CRICKET grounds across Staffordshire and Derbyshire fell silent over the weekend as a mark of respect to a popular player who died suddenly.
Players and officials from several clubs took part in a minute’s silence for Charlie Veale, while Lullington Park cricketers took a break from the rigours of Derbyshire Premier League and County League action on Saturday as they battled to come to terms with the passing of one of their colleagues.
The 21-year-old died in hospital in Sheffield on Thursday after being taken ill at work earlier in the week, suffering a brain aneurysm which then caused a stroke.
The news devastated his many friends at Lullington Park, where he was a highly popular and talented all-rounder.
All of the club’s weekend games were postponed and instead family, friends and teammates gathered at Lullington’s pavilion, based in Edingale Lane, to commemorate Mr Veale’s life.
Dave Fern, Lullington Park CC secretary, said: “We thank the leagues and organisers, and the clubs involved, for their co-operation in what was a difficult, very emotional and raw time for everyone at the club.
“Charlie was a dear friend, loyal clubman and talented player who is sorely missed.
“There was no enthusiasm or wish to play cricket over the weekend. Rather, many of us met in the Park on Saturday afternoon to remember Charlie and talk about the good times, his strong determination and fighting spirit.
“It brought the cricketing family of the club together – players, their wives, girlfriends and parents, together with some of Charlie’s close friends from outside the club, and helped everyone through an extremely difficult time by just being together.
“We must thank all of the clubs and individuals who have sent messages of condolence to us, and also those who held a minute’s silence prior to their matches over the weekend. They were touching and most appreciated gestures.”
Around 50 people gathered in the Park to remember Mr Veale on Saturday, while Barton Cricket Club’s players wore black armbands over their shirts as a sign of respect.
Mr Veale was studying at Sheffield Hallam University to be a chartered surveyor, and lived in Clifton Campville.
Details of his funeral are due to be finalised later this week.