Surrey Members packed into the Long Room on Wednesday night for a long awaited event memorialising the lives of the late, great John Edrich and Robin Jackman.
Delayed for nine months due to the pandemic, the event was addressed by two of John and Robin’s closest friends – with over 30,000 runs and 1,500 Surrey wickets between them! – Pat Pocock and Micky Stewart.
Pat, who roomed with Robin on away trips for eight years, remembered the indefatigable seamer chuntering to himself as he stomped back to his mark. He also told an extraordinary story of the time Robin went around to his uncle’s Chelsea flat for dinner one Friday night, only to discover that they were dining with Sophia Loren (who had cooked the pasta herself!).
Micky remembered his many years opening the batting with John Edrich, as well as his first arrival at the Club where, following a long session for Edrich in the Second XI nets, sage judges such as the Bedser Twins and Bernard Constable immediately spotted his talent and marked him as one for the future.
He also remembered Edrich’s first arrival at The Oval – two days early for a game that started on Monday – where he assumed Surrey would have accommodation booked for him. With no such room secured, a game member of Club staff was able to lodge the future legend above a fish and chip shop in Lewisham – and so a legend was born!
After Members had a chance to speak about their own memories of the legends, the evening concluded with Surrey Chair Richard Thompson offering his own personal reflections on the two men, including the first time he met John Edrich, when he was summoned to audience at the Royal Wimbledon Golf Club, shortly after being appointed Chair of the Club.
With formal proceedings concluded, Members were left to mingle in the Long Room, enjoying a rare chance to spend time at The Kia Oval and enjoy each other’s company outside of the season.