Boris Johnson gives support to Stoneleigh Cricket Club’s fundraising efforts

Boris Johnson and Paul Smith of Stoneleigh Cricket Club with the signed bats.

Boris Johnson and Paul Smith of Stoneleigh Cricket Club with the signed bats.

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Mayor of London Boris Johnson has become an unlikely supporter of Stoneleigh Cricket Club’s fundraising campaign to improve its facilities in its 175th year.

Development officer Paul Smith wrote to Mr Johnson ahead of a Conservative Party event being held at Stoneleigh Abbey - the picturesque setting for Stoneleigh’s home games.

Boris met Mr Smith before the event and signed two bats, which the club will now sell at an auction to help boost their efforts.

Mr Smith said: “Boris was very interested to hear of our efforts and he was pleased to hear about the support we are getting from The Stoneleigh Abbey Trust and, in particular, Tony Bird the trust’s chairman who had also arranged the 380-seat dinner event at the abbey’s beautiful Riding School.

“Boris admitted he was not a great cricketer at Eton but was pleased to hear that one of our Stoneleigh players had gone to school with his hero Winston Churchill, whom he has written a biography on.

“Major Chandos Leigh unfortunately later died in the First World War. He was the first Harrovian and Stoneleigh Cricketer to die at Mons.”

The club is hoping to get sponsorship from Waitrose-Kenilworth to fund Junior Cricket facilities and has applied to the Waitrose funded English Cricket Board Small Grants Improvement Fund.