Celebrating Hugh Thomas

by Martin Read

Ceremony honours one of Horsham’s greatest sporting servants
One of Horsham’s greatest sporting servants was remembered in a poignant ceremony at Horsham CC.

A ceremony at Horsham CC on Saturday celebrated Hugh Thomas - one of the town's greatest sporting servants


Former Lions president, Hugh Thomas, had generously left the Lions a legacy, with the club marking the occasion with the unveiling of a clock bearing his name before their game with Chichester Priory Park CC on Saturday. Hugh dedicated 50-years of service to the club as a player, umpire, committee member and fixtures secretary.

Hugh was also a founder of Horsham Hockey Club, where he also served as president and fixtures secretary.

Horsham CC stalwart David Horsman said: “Hugh was always hard-working, conscientious and knowledgeable in every aspect of the game, both on and off the field – he was also a vital member and administrator for the Sussex League Committee.

“When we look at Hugh’s clock we will not only remember him, but a host of his friends at the club who also left us too soon, and players and colts will try to emulate their love of cricket and Horsham.”
Hugh’s son, Robert, remembered frequent visits to the club as a child, indulging in legendary cricket teas and absorbing his father’s passion for the game at his spiritual home, revelling in the people and the teams.

Robert added: “He spent his final days in Horsham Hospital, and two particular things perked him up, when my wife Michelle told him that Joe Root had scored a century in the West Indies test, and then when I said I’d visited the club and received a typically friendly welcome.”

Chairman of Horsham CC, Richard Marshall said: “Hugh was a thoroughly nice man – one of life’s true gentlemen, with bags of common sense, who did so much for cricket and hockey in the county.”

Hugh’s wisdom and good counsel are missed at Horsham CC, where he took great interest in youth development, and at Sussex’s Hove HQ, where he was a much respected vice-president.

Horsham CC unveiled a clock bearing Hugh's named was unveiled at the club on Saturday. Picture courtesy of Edward Thomas

Thanks to Martin Read for permission to reproduce this article which he wrote for the West Sussex County Times and to Edward Thomas for the photos