We have no records when Capel cricket club was formed, but we do know that the club is playing cricket at Misbrooks Green in 1870s. It was recorded that Tom Steadman (probably only remembered by a few of the locals) played against Surrey eleven in early 1900. It is a job to imagine the playing conditions in those days, mowing would’ve been by horse-drawn mowers and use of a heavy roller would’ve been a must. Charles Edwards senior started his long association with the club assisting with preparation of the wicket at Misbrooks Green and this was also start of his playing career, he was only 14 and this was in 1925. He continued working on the ground, graduating to groundsman and held this position until he was in his 70s. He treated the square at the recreation ground as though it was his, and woe betide anyone that crossed him.
When Ray Carter (of Carters Garage) moved to Misbrooks Green cottages, he reinstated the cricket ground, this must’ve been a labour of love as it was a similar state as it is today. The last cricket match was organised by Ray on the day of the Queens Silver Jubilee 1977. The game was played under the old laws of cricket and we all dressed up near that near to the time as possible. Mr Brown who was one of the vice president and lived in Misbrooks cottage supplied a barrel of King & Barnes and true in the tradition of the club, it was duly emptied.
The recreation ground was given to the village in 1922 by the Mortimer family, they were keen supporters and players of the club. The club then move to The Recreation Ground in early 1926.
Capel, like most villages had a number of local families that played and supported the club, they took up the various offices in the club, which normally meant the job was theirs for many years. Looking in the minute book in the early 1930s, Mr Ward Clark was an active president, he was the local doctor. The Christmas family were the local bakers and Mr A Christmas was the chairman of the club and his son Ern was a player. The publican from The Crown, Mr E Ellis was the secretary and Nobby his son was a player. The bell family farming opposite at Church Gardens Farm and Bob Bell was a committee member, his services were sought at the start of the season to roll the outfield. Bill Hayward who was a local contractor with a cousin to Charles Edwards senior, he was the captain and my father was vice captain. In those days the umpire and scorer were elected and there was very often a vote taken to make the appointment. It was interesting to note the players playing members had to pay 60 (7.2p) per match towards transport and the annual subscription was 3/-(15p). The finances in 1933 shows a deficit in the year of £6.6.3 (£6.31.5p), total income £24.10 (£24.50) against expenditure of £30.16.3 (£30.81.5p).
The club fortunes in the early 1960s were not very good as the old players stepped down and there was a lack of younger players to take their place. It was said by some of the clubs who we had the oldest fixtures with, “we always like playing at Capel first class wicket and excellent teas”. They say that every dog has its day, first Ron Grinstead, John Mitchell & Gof Squibb over a period of 30 years produced a crop of good young players, we reversed our poor spell and had the beating of the best of the sides that we played.
Another turning point of the clubs cricketing fortunes was when the second eleven was introduced in 1983, this enabled the young players to be blooded and was used as a feeder for the first eleven. Our games of cricket were on the basis of friendly fixtures, played in a competitive spirit, the majority of these were played against local Surrey and Sussex clubs. At the AGM in 1995 the club voted and was excepted to join the Surrey Downs league, this gave us competitive cricket and our first eleven were not out of place in this new environment. The first eleven won the league in 1998 and in 2000 and for a side that was nearly 100% local talent, is no mean feat.
In 2001 The colt section of the club was resurrected by Anthony Birch, Mark Jaques & Clay Griffin. They quickly became ECB Qualified coaches and started working with a few children who regularly attended Sunday morning coaching. Today we have over 150 colts registered and over 20 qualified coaches. in 2017 the under 8’s were victorious in winning the West Surrey Cricket league, ably guided by Anthony Birch. In the older age groups success wasn’t far away with Six A Side winners in three age groups and top three finishes in most age groups right up to under 15.
The club is proud to have many players selected for Surrey and Sussex for both boys and girls.
The club is in a very strong position to progress both on and off the pitch boys, girls and adults alike; winter training programs have expanded and participation significantly increased which has resulted in recent improvements and we have high expectations for future improvements beyond.
Here at Capel Cricket Club, we have a great team who look after our club:
President: Dave Jaques
Vice Presidents: Chris Anderson, Dr John Ashwood, John Buckland, Neil Carter, Clive Coward, John Hurst, Gordon Mortimer, Trish Topping
Chairman: Simon Markham
Secretary: Ben Brearley
Treasurer: Richard Clark
Youth Manager: Simon Markham
Welfare Officer: Hilary Venn
Surrey Downs League Reps: Phil Stephens
Village Cricket League Rep: Henry Lee
Membership Secretary: Charlie Atkinson
Grounds Committee: Tim Mitchell, Chris Anderson, Jonty Margetts, Tom Ware
Website Coordinators: Tom Ware, Jonty Margetts
Bar Committee: Henry Lee, Jonty Margetts, Paul Childs, Rudy Jaques, Monique Paul, Kat Elkin
Adult Playing Committee: Anthony Birch, David Jaques plus Captains and Vice Captains
Saturday 1st XI Captain: Harry Margetts
Saturday 1st XI Vice Captain: Ashley Smith
Saturday 2nd XI Captain: Phil Stephens
Saturday 2nd XI Vice Captain: Henry Ede
Sunday Development XI Captain: Dom Venn
Sunday Development XI Vice Captain: Oliver Margetts
Surrey Slam XI Captains: Jonty Margetts, Rudy Jaques