Roffey colt Whittingham makes his first-class Sussex debut

Roffey CC V Preston Nomads. Roffey's Stuart Whittingham batting (Pic by Jon Rigby) SUS-151105-093220008
Roffey CC V Preston Nomads. Roffey's Stuart Whittingham batting (Pic by Jon Rigby) SUS-151105-093220008

Local lad Stuart Whittingham fulfilled a dream as he made his first class debut for Sussex this week.

The former Roffey colt and Christ’s Hospital pupil grabbed two wickets on his bow during the County Championship Division 2 match at Derbyshire.

Whittingham signed a junior professional deal with Sussex in November having been a Sussex 2nd XI regular after coming through the county’s ranks.

The 22-year-old was part of Roffey’s Premier Division winning side last year and is also with the champions again this season.

He grew up playing for the colts sections at the club, but also spent two years at Horsham before rejoining his childhood club at the start of last season.

Whittingham’s first-class cricketing debut came at the beginning of the 2015 season for Loughborough MCCU, while he studied history and politics there. But his place in the Sussex team on Sunday for the four-day game saw him finish the first innings with 2-38 from 11 overs.

Roffey captain Matt Davies has praised nice-guy Whittingham and wished him the best for Sussex, even if it means they do not see much of him themselves this season.

He said: “Everyone at the club is really delighted for him, he has bowled so well in the first innings at Derbyshire, we are chuffed to bits for him.

“He came down to training a couple of weeks ago and said hello to everyone. He is a really nice lad and enjoys his cricket at Roffey.

“If we do not see him playing in the league for us, then it’s a good thing for him as it means he’s in the county side. We all wish him all the best.”

Whittingham also starred for Scotland’s under-19 team at the ICC World Cup in 2014.

Speaking to the County Times before that, he said: “It has always been my intention to concentrate on playing to fulfil my dream of becoming a professional cricketer.

“This winter I have been awarded an academy plus contract for the forthcoming season with Sussex which has hopefully brought me a step closer to realising my goal.”

Former Horsham player George Garton also penned a junior deal last year and has made his first-class debut this season joining fellow Horsham-based Sussex players Chris Nash and Will Beer.

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