Hosts Wem plan fundraiser for Shropshire Mind at Sunday’s match between Shropshire CCC and Staffordshire CCC

Wem CC host a senior Shropshire County Cricket Club fixture for the first time in a number of years on Sunday – and are also planning to use the day to raise money for charity.

Shropshire take on Staffordshire at Soulton Road in their third NCCA Trophy game of the season (11am) – and with both teams having won one and lost one so far, it is a pivotal game in the group stages of this season’s competition.

Wem have decided to use the game as a fund raiser for Shropshire Mind – the charity in the county helping people experiencing mental or emotional distress.

Club spokesman Keith Higgins said: “We are looking forward to hosting Shropshire at Wem, and we discussed as a club what we could do to support a charity on the day.

“Mental health and well-being has become even more relevant over the past 18 months with the issues caused by the Covid-19 pandemic and the stresses of lockdowns on individuals, so we picked Shropshire Mind.”

At the forefront of the club’s minds was the death 16 months ago of well-known Shropshire umpire and club cricketer Kevin Smith, son of the chairman of the Henshalls Shropshire Cricket League chairman Gordon.

“We have spoken to Gordon, and he and his family have fully-endorsed our decision to raise money for Shropshire Mind.

“Mental health is an important issue recognised by many cricket clubs in Shropshire and beyond, and charities like Shropshire Mind are on hand to help people when they have problems.”

There will be a raffle on the day and also a bucket collection, and the club is also using the event as a thank you to their sponsors.

Keith added: “Obviously we are limited to an extent by the current Covid-19 restrictions, which, of course, we have in place, but the bar will be open on the day and it should be a good game of cricket.”

Shropshire Chairman John Hulme said the county club was pleased to support Wem’s decision to raise money for Shropshire Mind in memory of Kevin.

He said: “Kevin, as many of you will recall, was an accomplished opening batsman who represented the County U21 side, and went onto become a very well-respected umpire.

“Sadly, Kevin is no longer with us, but he will be long-remembered by those within the cricketing fraternity and beyond.

“Hopefully spectators will give generously to support this important cause, and help increase the awareness of mental health and well-being, which discriminates against no one.

“All proceeds from scorecard and programme sales are to be donated to the charity.”