It is with the most profound sadness that I pass on the news that our immediate past president Ron Grief died earlier this week.
Ron had been a vital member of the club since the 1970s as a league winning captain, chairman and as club president for over 20 years. He was a real cricket man always insisting that the game be played in the right way with respect for the opposition and umpires – he embodied the spirit of cricket.
Outside his work for Hutton Ron also served in a variety of roles in Essex Cricket. For many years he was chairman of the Central Essex District Cricket Board and the Brentwood Umpires Assoc and served a term on the Essex County Board. Graham Jelley of Essex Cricket in the Community described him as a “was a tireless volunteer for cricket in Essex.”
At Hutton Ron placed great emphasis on our youth development working with Mike Walker to put a structured programme in place. He took great pleasure in seeing young players including his sons Peter and David break through into the senior sides.
Most newer members of the club will know him from the legendary hospitality Ron and his wife June offered on President’s Day. Ron always insisted that the game itself was of a high standard and was the real draw but also the quality and quantity of the fare on offer ensured that many former players and Essex cricket dignitaries included the event in their annual diaries. They said they were coming for the food – they were actually coming to pay their respects to June and Ron. The photo below shows Ron cutting the 150th anniversary cake at the 2014 President's Day match against the MCC.
This hospitality also extended to providing accommodation to the guest speaker at the annual dinner – Geoff Miller was a particular fan of the Grief’s bed and breakfast.
Ron used his property development skills to drive the club’s development off the field. His greatest contribution was persuading the committee in the early 1980s to buy the freehold of the 3rd/4th team pitch for the sum of £30,000. Some 20 years later he secured from with Brentwood Council to a fifty year lease on the 1st/2nd team pitch. This security of tenure provides the base on which we have been able to develop our facilities.
By simply looking out of the pavilion windows we can see Ron’s abiding legacy to the club and his lasting memorial.
We will miss him.