The History of Marlow Sports Club
Marlow Sports Club was formed in 1949 when the Wethered Brewery agreed to lease land for sports, thereby allowing the fledgling Club to pull together a number of different organisations. The Club has existed on the Pound Lane site ever since, paying a small ‘peppercorn’ rent to Wethered Brewery, later known as Whitbread. The Club and the ground have together enjoyed some wonderful occasions, including visits from County and touring international cricket teams to use one of the best wickets in the county. Other sections have seen notable events including the Marlow Half Marathon and the Marlow Hockey Club celebrating its centenary in 2009.
In 2006, Whitbread decided to put the main ground up for sale at Auction. After a local out-cry, Whitbread withdrew from the Auction and allowed Marlow Sports Club to put forward a proposal to purchase the land directly. With the help of many local dignitaries, business people and interested organisations, that proposal was accepted and sale of the land was completed finally, in March 2011. In 2006, the Environment Agency (EA) were coincidentally proposing a flood relief scheme for this area of Marlow which involved putting ‘bunds’ onto the back field behind the Club pavilion. Marlow Sports Club identified that these ‘bunds’ could be built to form two sides of an all Weather Hockey Pitch. The EA agreed to make this a combined project for the benefit of the community, and the pitch was completed in Autumn 2011.
September 2013 saw the Club secure a further 10 acres, adjacent to the existing site. To ensure the best use of this extra space the trustees are currently in consultation with; it’s members; the local authorities; Environmental Agency; other Sporting Bodies and the broader Marlow community. In the last six years the Club has gone from renting 5.5 acres to owning around 20 acres, which are now secured from potential inappropriate development and for the recreational use of the local community.
Our Mission and Values
Our purpose: “Promoting Sport in the Marlow Community”
What we stand for:
- Open to all, irrespective of age; background; physical situation
- Create a place where all ages can learn and enjoy sport together for life
- Preserve Marlow’s beautiful green space for future generations and create a sanctuary away from the home, office and school
- Create a vibrant centre for the community to meet and socialise, get and stay fit and enjoy life
- Promote physical and emotional growth, well-being and self-belief to fulfil individual potential
Marlow Sports Club is a registered charity set up to provide sporting and recreational facilities for the people of Marlow and the surrounding area.
The charity trustees are:
John Fordham – President
John was made President of the Club in March 2013 in recognition of his leadership in securing the original parcels of land from their previous ownership for the Club. He has been a senior member of Marlow Cricket Club since 1993. John is a Director of a Health Care company. He continues to be a significant contributor to the on-going progress being made by the Club.
Martin Gray – Chairman
Martin had over 40 years experience in domestic, corporate and international banking. He worked for NatWest for some 37 years gaining substantial experience in credit control, marketing, strategy and all aspects of retail, small business and corporate banking.He was appointed General Manager UK Branch Business in 1990 and Chief Executive NatWest UK in 1993. In those roles he was responsible additionally for the Bank’s Mortgage, General Insurance, Life and Pensions, Trust and Tax and Card Services businesses. He had executive responsibility for NatWest Cricket sponsorship between 1986 – 1999.He served on the Boards of Lombard Group and Ulster Bank Group, NatWest Life and NatWest Insurance Services.He served on the Global Board of Mastercard (1993-1996) and the European Board of Visa (1996-1999). He was appointed to the NatWest Group’s Main Board in 1993 and retired from the Bank in 1999.He was a member of the Prince’s Trust Board for 6 years between 1993 and 1999.Since retiring from NatWest he has held a number of non-Executive roles, in HR Consultancy, Retail Financial Services, Branch Design, Insurance Broking, Corporate Broking and Retail Fund Management during the 6 years he was Chairman of Evolution Group.He was a Director of National Savings and Investments for 7 years, Chairman of the Audit Committee for 2 years, and Chairman for the last 3.He was Chairman of the Marketing Committee of England and Wales Cricket Board 2000-2003 during which time T20 Cricket was introduced in the UK. He is a member of MCC and a Freeman of the City of London.He enjoys walking and many aspects of sport, but especially cricket.
Neil Robertson – Deputy Chairman
Neil and his family have lived in Marlow for 30 years. Now retired from full time working, he is currently a non executive member of the Strategic Board at Amicus Horizon (a large social housing provider with focus in London and the South East providing some 27500 housing units), For four years until 2012 he was the Director responsible for HR, Security and Estates/Facilities at the Department for International Development. Before then, Neil’s career was with British Airways where from October 2002 to January 2007 he was Director for People and a member of the executive management team. A chartered fellow of CIPD and a member of the Institute of Directors, Neil is a social member of Marlow Sports Club. His wife, Carol, is a member of the Tennis Section.
Sally has strong connections not only within the town, but also Marlow Sports Club. She was a governor of Borlase for 9 years. Also chaired the Borlase Hockey Support Group. All of her children have reached elite status in their chosen sports ie Athletics, Hockey and Show Jumping. She has been a tennis member in the past and her children have played hockey at the Club.
Mike first moved to the Marlow area in the mid 1970’s and played rugby, cricket , squash and tennis in the town.Mike’s career in the IT and technology market was mainly based in Europe at the beginning but latterly led to CEO and other senior roles based in North America Asia and AustraliaMike returned to the UK some eight years ago and has since specialised in private investment and non –executive work and has settled back in to living in Marlow with his wife Joy.
Dawn has been a member of Marlow Sports Club for more than 25 years and both run and cycled. Until April this year she was Chairperson of Marlow Striders. She was race director of the hugely successful Marlow Half Marathon for 10 years. In that time, the Event has generated thousands of pounds for our local community, including substantial contributions to MSC.She enjoys cooking and sharing time with friends and family. Dawn has one daughter, Janine, 3 grandchildren and 1 great grandchild.A volunteer with Wycombe Homeless Connection, a local charity for the homeless. Much of her time is spent preparing meals and making sure these less fortunate people are well fed, preparing them for their day ahead, on the streets.Dawn will be reducing her work hours in the near future, so is delighted to be able to become a trustee at MSC. She feels we have a wonderful gift here in Marlow, where we are blessed with fantastic grounds and have members who are passionate about activity. As a trustee, one key goal will be helping others make the most of this opportunity to ensure the young people of Marlow can access and enjoy sport so they can grow in capability and even become the trustees of tomorrow. She will also be ensuring the interests of our female members and those with disabilities are well represented and that they have the same chance to experience sport and gain from the benefits it brings.
To support the voluntary positions, the club employ a catering manager and a groundsman, both on a part-time basis.
The Club also has a wholly owned subsidiary trading company, Marlow Sports Club Trading Company, which handles all the commercial or non-charitable activity of the club.
Our Patrons are:
Sir Steve Redgrave CBE
Has won medals at five consecutive Olympic Games from 1984 to 2000 as well as a bronze medal at the 1988 Summer Games, totalling six Olympic Medals. He has also won three Commonwealth Games gold medals and nine World Rowing Championships golds. With the five gold medals and one bronze he is the most successful male rower in Olympic history. In 2011 he received the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Lifetime Achievement. He is strongly involved in many charity . For example, Through his participation in the 2006 Flora London Marathon, he raised in excess of £1.7m for his charitable Steve Redgrave Trust, helping its fundraising total over the £5m mark. The people of Marlow are very proud that Steve was born, brought up and still lives in our community.
Sir Clive Woodward OBE
An English former rugby union player and coach of real note. He was coach of the England team from 1997 to 2004, famously managing them to victory in the 2003 Rugby World Cup. On 24 October 2011, he was inducted into the IRB Hall of Fame, alongside all other Rugby World Cup-winning head coaches and captains from the tournament’s inception in 1987 through 2007. On 6 September 2006 he was appointed the new director of elite performance for the British Olympic Association. At the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing he acted as Deputy Chef de Mission and undertook a review of practices at the games in preparation for 2012 Summer Olympics in London. His charity support includes being Honorary President of the Wooden Spoon Society, a children’s charity that harnesses the support of the rugby world. Clive and his family now live just outside Marlow.
Andrew Strauss OBE
Is a former captain of the England Cricket Team. He became only the third every England captain to win the Ashes home and away. He was a key contributor in the highly contested 2005 Ashes test series, his prolific run scoring and consistency contributing to England regaining the Ashes for the first time in 18 years. One of the most respected and highly rated cricketers in the world. Andrew and his wife Ruth live in Marlow with their family. The boys are regular attendees on a Friday night for Colts training, where dad can also be seen helping out.
Alex Danson MBE
She is a member of the England and Great Britain women’s field hockey teams. The Reading Hockey Club forward is one of the youngest ever England internationals, having made her senior debut at just 16 years of age, whilst still at school. Alex is a former BBC Young Sports Personality of the Year nominee and has achieved over 200 international caps to date. She has competed successfully in many high profile events, most recently taking home a bronze medal at the London 2012 Olympic Games. She has a huge passion for sport and life and truly believes that with hard work, energy and belief everyone can achieve their dreams. Recently taking on the role of National Athlete Mentor, sponsored by Sky Sports – working on “Living for Sport” projects helping them to continue to develop and improve many young peoples’ lives through sport. Her latest major achievement has been the playing of an influential role in the GB Ladies Hockey Team Gold Medal success in Rio! Alex is another resident of Marlow.
Company registration number: 692958
Charity number: 1139862