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Former Essex and England batsman opens new clubhouse at Hornchurch Cricket Club

Gooch, in the pink shirt, shakes hands with Hornchurch chairman Jeremy West as the plaque is unveiled

The new clubhouse and scoreboard at Hornchurch Cricket Club have been unveiled with the help of a former England international.

Graham Gooch joined players, families and other community members, as they commemorated the opening at the ground in Harrow Lodge Park.

The legendary batsman, who captained England in 34 tests between 1988-1993, unveiled a plaque to mark the occasion on Friday evening.

Gooch posed for pictures with a number of Hornchurch’s junior players

“It’s great to see all the youngsters here enjoying themselves, taking part in this great game,” said Gooch, who previously lived in Chadwell Heath and Gidea Park.

“The social engagement is brilliant so (the refurbishment) can only be a good thing for the development of the future of the game and the future of this area.”

Gooch amused the gathered crowd with some stories from his playing days

Hornchurch’s chairman, Jeremy West, told Time 107.5: “Our club goes back 230-odd years but we’ve had the same kind of bar, the same clubhouse facilities, for at least 40 years so it was in need of a refurb.

“We’ve had the most amazing year at Hornchurch: we won the treble last year, which has never been done before anywhere in Essex.

“We’ve had our changing rooms built and then this big extension so it’s quite incredible that everything has come together as well as it has.”

Club chairman Jeremy West spoke about the history of the club

Speaking on Gooch’s attendance at the opening, Hornchurch first team captain Billy Gordon said: “It’s a great honour to have such a legend of cricket at our club. 

“It’s great for the youngsters as well to look up to people like that and hopefully it inspires them to go on to be good cricketers.”

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