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Brooklyn’s cricket club is older than it thinks

Sep 1st, 2011 | By | Category: Front Page Layout, Latest News, News, Sport

BROOKLYN Cricket Club has a richer history than its current members first thought.

For a start, it’s 17 years older than club records showed, and inquiries have revealed the history behind a mysterious cup returned to the trophy cabinet last year.

The trophy came back in October, but the only clue to where it came from was the name “E. Hill” engraved on it.

Now, Aucklander David Griffin – Mr Hill’s solicitor, who returned the trophy – has elaborated on its background.

It belonged to Ernie Hill, who moved to Auckland in the 1950s, and who died in 2001.

“There was nobody to claim it and it seemed a shame to throw it away,” says Mr Griffin, who says the cup sat in the estate and there were no living relatives.

The return of the cup almost 10 years after Mr Hill’s death coincided with the truth about the club’s real age.

A club member’s work colleague searching for the club’s new website stumbled across articles on the Papers Past website that revealed it was established in 1912 – not 1929 as originally thought.

That means the upcoming cricket season this summer will be the club’s centenary.

With this revelation in mind, club member Daryl Giles began extensive research into the club’s history.

There are few records held by either the club or the New Zealand Cricket Museum at the Basin Reserve, he says.

“There’s no-one (with) comprehensive (knowledge) before 1970.”

The club is still on the lookout for club records and hopes to uncover more cricketing memorabilia before its centenary celebrations later this year.

The recovered trophy was awarded to Ernie Hill in the 1950/1951 season for taking 10 wickets for 44 runs.

“It’s now the oldest cup with the club, by far,” says club Captain Josh Williams.

That makes it the most important, and the club needs to find an appropriate use:  “In honour of Mr Hill, we don’t just want to make it a batting trophy for a team.”

He says the unusual nature of the award was common back in the 1950s.

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