Surrey Chairman's Christmas Message - Kia Oval Skip to main content

I want to start by wishing all Surrey Members a very Happy Christmas – wherever you are celebrating and however you are able to do so.

It has been an extraordinary year for everybody. No matter where you are in the world, no matter what you do, the pandemic will have fundamentally affected your way of life and that of you loved ones.

For us at Surrey, the financial damage wrought has been severe. What was predicted as a year in which the Club turned over £38m has ended up as one where we are likely to turn over around £13m. That is a 65% decrease.

Throughout this time, the loyalty shown by our 13,500 Members has been nothing short of extraordinary and I would like to pay tribute to you all – from our youngest new Pride of Lions member to the amazing eight of you who have been with us for over 70 consecutive years.

In this year, the intangible, intrinsic value provided to the Club by our Surrey Family has become ever clearer. This is a sporting family like no other.

We have a wonderfully broad church of Members here at Surrey and this has never been more apparent than when considering the breadth of messages we received during the course of this year.

From former Prime Ministers and England internationals to the families of the next generations of Surrey superstars, as we set about saving the summer, we always felt backed to the hilt by those we represent. Over 68% of you donating your membership to the club is an act of generosity and loyalty the club will never forget.

We pushed as hard as we could  to get members back into the ground but unfortunately it was to no avail – despite The Oval being the first venue to host a live crowd since the end of lockdown.

Do you think it was a coincidence that our first win of the season came on the day we were allowed to welcome 2,500 of our Members?  That day kick started a nine game T20 winning streak that almost saw us end the most unlikely of summers with silverware. As it was, standing on the outfield at Edgbaston at 10pm on a damp Sunday evening in October will only deepen the desire to go one better next year.

The idea of Surrey CCC not taking to the field in 2020 – something has not happened for 75 years – was not one we were not prepared to countenance and I would like to pay tribute to everyone in the game who worked together to deliver a successful Bob Willis Trophy and Vitality Blast.

Whilst we would obviously have liked to have done better in the Bob Willis Trophy, we were missing a huge number of players – both to injury and, more pleasingly, to the England bubble.

To have seen seven Surrey men’s players take the field for England this summer once more demonstrated our special generation that will underpin both Surrey and England for years to come. This is the greatest number of players in the England system since the 50’s – something to be very proud of.

There are plenty of other players in the squad who are clearly headed in that direction and I eagerly anticipate the celebrations we will be able to have when their time comes.

2020 has been a year that we cannot repeat. With the support of our Surrey Family, we have overcome unprecedented difficulties and I can’t wait for us all to move onto 2021. It is going to be a good year.

Wishing you my best wishes for a safe & healthy Christmas.

Richard Thompson