I’ll Always Remember Where I Was When…
Surrey‘s dash to the land of milk and honey and shiny Duke cherries that is the Liverpool Victoria County Championship Division One was momentarily checked on Tuesday afternoon by an intense burst of rain. An entire home county paused and prayed for more clement weather.
Hooded rascals in Croydon downed their petrol bombs. Fatted financiers clothed in Pringle looked to the skies from their three-footers on the greens of Virginia Water. And patrons in the homosexual haunts of Vauxhall, still whirling from their wanton celebrations of the fifth batting point, emptied onto the streets to unite in supplication to the clouds above.
But sun broke through and stayed for a day, long enough for the team to secure a promotion berth. Watched on by entire villages gathered in front of a single television. A million hopes realised on the outrageous spin of a Gareth Batty delivery. And from the airless peaks of the High Weald, to the flood plains of the Wey and the Mole, a carnival exploded. Suddenly arable farmers and removal men thundered down the A3 in their trucks, sounding their horns in triumph. Their passengers waved flags and vast ostrich feathers. Toddlers skipped alongside the cavalcade, their joyous faces brushed with the dark brown colour of their motherland.
Over in the capital, Kingston, county councillors sat in their senate and debated the proper means in which to commemorate this cherished piece of history. An agreement was reached to grant upon the entire squad the freedom of the fair city of Reigate, the only fitting honour possible. And to erect a massive golden statue of Tim Linley in Richmond Park.
The day turned to night turned to morning, the festivities continued. And although the heads may be fuzzy today, no-one in this great county will ever forget 14th September 2011. The day Surrey were promoted. As runners-up. Because of an extra batting point.