Horsham cricket loses ‘true character’ Beryl

John Berry was a regular at Horsham's Cricketfield Road
John Berry was a regular at Horsham's Cricketfield Road

Heartfelt tributes have been paid to John Berry, one of Horsham Cricket Club’s ‘greatest supporters and characters’.

John, know affectionately as ‘Beryl’ to his friends, has been fondly remembered after he passed away from illness last week.

In a letter to the West Sussex County Times, printed in full on page 39, Horsham CC chairman John Carter said: “When John Berry passed away last week, Horsham Cricket Club lost one of its greatest supporters and characters.

“John, known as ‘Beryl’ to his close friends, joined Horsham Cricket Club in the twilight of his playing career, having been a more than useful wicket-keeper with Letchworth CC and Eastbourne CC, his self-styled nickname of “Lord Byes” telling nothing of how good he really was.

“During his time with Horsham, John was elected treasurer from 1995 to 1999, and in 2000 he became chairman, a post he filled until 2006.

“His enthusiasm and infectious humour will be much missed by all who knew him, and to say that the cricket world has lost a true character would be an understatement.

“It was a pleasure and honour to have known such a genuinely nice person and we at Horsham CC will all sadly miss him, but hold fondly to his memory.”

Former Horsham captainRichard Marshall also paid tribute to a “true friend”, fondly remembering the time the wicketkeeper did a cartwheel down the Horsham wicket having helped Eastbourne to the Sussex League title in 1972.

“We were very close,” Marshall said. “He started his career at Brighton and was a big player for Brighton Brunswick before he moved to Eastbourne.

“He was captain of our Third team for a little while before moving on to become chairman. He was very proactive as chairman, he got things moving and did a very good job.

“He was a person who was loved by everybody, he was a big man and a larger then life character.

“He had to take tough decisions but was always very fair, which is why we was not only liked but also respected.

“When David Hussey (Australian legendary batsman) was over here playing he stayed with Beryl and his wife Di and he regarded them as his English parents so I know he’ll be devastated by the news.”