A Buxton CC XI will be playing against Chapel CC on Sunday, May 1, in celebration of Nick Smith’s extraordinary contribution to local cricket. There will be a short ceremony during the tea interval to officially rename the Park Road ground’s pavilion in Nick’s honour.
Nick, who died in October 2020, began playing cricket as a junior at Chapel in the early 1970s before beginning an extraordinary period of more than 40 years as a fixture in the Buxton First XI. Initially a prolific batsman, as his game matured he also mastered the art of spin bowling.
He returned to play at Chapel in 2017 and made many friends at both clubs, and throughout the cricketing community.
Tim Budd, Buxton’s honorary treasurer and second XI captain, said: “Nick was good enough to play professionally but he only ever wanted to play for his hometown club. He was Mr Cricket. As treasurer and groundsman for many years, and as a player, his service was complete and wholehearted on and off the field.
“He always played in the right sprit and that made him very well regarded even by people who played against him. As a teammate, there was something permanent about him. He didn’t suffer fools but once he decided you were one of the good guys, he was on your side forever.”
The Buxton XI will be made up of current and former players who knew Nick, returning to the town from all across the country to play under the captaincy of Nick’s son Luke – who has gone on to have an accomplished cricket career of his own.
General spectators and anyone with reason to remember what Nick gave to the community will be welcome at the 40-over game, which begins at 1.30pm. The bar will be open serving refreshments throughout the day. Collections will be raising funds for Ashgate Hospice where Nick spent his final days.