A Tribute to Ron Lynch
Ronald Victor Lynch was born in Stratford in 1923 and was a fine left arm spinner (described in some quarters as having the “Tony Lock action”) together with a very useful middle order batsman.
Ron’s early cricketing career was spent initially at Stratford Wesleyan CC and then gracing Valentine’s Park, the home of Ilford CC who he joined in 1949. He was soon impressing observers and not long after his debut he captured an amazing 7-10 in the Whit Monday 1st XI game with Brentwood . So good were his performances that year that he was invited to become Chinghopper no 307.
His good form continued as he was an integral part of the Ilford side that went unbeaten in 1950 . There were some tremendous performances from Ron in the early 50s which included 8-54 v Northampton Poly in 1952 and 7-22 v Chelmsford in 1951 – and not forgetting the bat Ron struck an impressive 125 v Incidentals in 1952.
Always a tight bowler Ron was selected for Ilford in the 1953 Evening Standard Merit Challenge Match North of the Thames v South of the Thames v Cyphers at Brondesbury where his figures before lunch were an incredible 17-11-8-3.
With 64 wickets in the Ilford 1st XI in 1954 it was inevitable that Ron’s performances would bring him to the attention of the Essex selectors. Ron made his only 3 appearances for the county in 1954, sadly all of which were blighted by rain, although in the game v Northants at Rushden he captured 4 wickets in a 29 over spell. After the third game at Liverpool, Ron was approached by two senior Essex officials who told him they thought he had a poor deal - and that they would like him to play in the remaining 8 games of the season. Ron approached his employers for unpaid leave but they told him his services were too valuable and he could not be spared!
During his time at Ilford Ron was also beginning to shape his cricket organisation skills, playing a prominent part on the Ilford Committee as Entertainments Secretary.
1957 was an eventful year for Ron who received the honour of being awarded his Club Cricket Conference Cap and he also made the move to Chingford CC mid-season. Ron’s arrival at Forest Side soon sparked a revival and he took 4-24 against his old side Ilford to engineer their only defeat of the season. He also produced analysis of 11-8-10-8 against the strong Alexandra Park side - a performance which earned him the matchball mounted. Ron continued to deliver the wickets with 4 against an Arthur Sedgwick XI including 8 county players in 1958 and as the seasons went on his bowling became tighter and tighter. Examples of the most miserly bowling performances included 6-22 in 23 overs v Buckhurst Hill in 1961 and 6-25 v Woodford Wells in 1967.
In 1967 Ron was elected as Chingford Club Captain – a position he held until 1970. Under Ron’s leadership, his astute tactics and influence on his players saw Chingford suffer just 3 defeats in 30 games in 1969 and in the first venture into League cricket in the Essex Senior Competition in 1970 Chingford lost just two games.
Ron was initially Chairman of the Essex League and masterminded the set up of the new structure together with the change, which saw the top 19 clubs break away from the Essex Senior Competition.
Ron was elected President of the Chinghoppers in 1972 - a Club he always found the time to play for in their midweek and Sunday fixtures and Ron always loved the unique camaraderie, fellowship and quality cricket provided by the ’Hoppers.
With Chingford’s fortunes fading in the early 70s, Chingford’s greatest ever leader was coaxed back for a second spell of captaincy and under Ron’s reins it was no coincidence that Chingford achieved their best ever Essex League standing – 2nd in 1974 - when Chingford could only draw the final game and were edged out of the title by just a single point
Ron retired from playing at the end of the 1975 season having taken 550 wickets (almost all at 1st XI level) for Chingford at just 14 apiece.
Ron now turned his cricketing energies to off the field matters - chairing the Chingford Indoor Cricket School committee, which turned a dream into a reality when the new facility was opened at Forest Side in 1980.
In the meantime 1979 saw Ron appointed Joint Asst Manager and Treasurer of the CCC tour to Australia.
A much respected figure in the game, Ron went on to become Chairman of the CCC between 1988 and 1990 and again in 1992 – the intervening period being spent as President in 1991. – and as part of his Conference duties got to meet HRH The Duke of Edinburgh twice - at Brentwood and Windsor.
Simultaneously Ron continued as the driving force behind the Essex League until 1992 as the Competition went from strength to strength in both organisation and playing strength. During Ron’s reign as Chairman a highly creditable 3 Inter-League trophies were secured in 1977, 1982 and 1991.
Ron continued to pick up the accolades – being elected Chingford President between 1992 and 1994 then uniquely in 2003 he was delighted to become the only person to be President of Chinghoppers CC twice.
In his retirement years Ron was a regular spectator at Chingford, Chinghoppers and Conference games both home and away and given his Conference connections, Ron was a very proud man to watch his club Chingford play in the Conference Cup Final held at Banstead in 2011.
At the time of Ron’s sad death in June 2012 he was impressively:
It was Ron’s wife Una’s wish that Ron s ashes should be buried at Chingford’s Forest Side ground and they reside right below the area where Ron and his many friends would sit and watch the game every Saturday afternoon in the Summer.
- Life Vice President of the Club Cricket Conference
- Life Vice President of the Essex League
- Life Vice President of Chingford Cricket Club and
- Senior Life President of Chinghoppers Cricket Club.