Ivor Chaplin scores 800th straight league game
1964 – The Beatles pick up their first US Number One single, Nelson Mandela begins his 27-year prison sentence on Robben Island, BBC 2 goes live, and a young Ivor Chaplin walks through the gates of Brentham CC, pencil in hand, to score his first game for the The Trees.
On Saturday 31 August 2018, Ivor walked through those same gates, for the Division Two game at home to Osterley, this time with an array of coloured pens for strike-rate, balls faced, and overs bowled, to score his 800th consecutive Middlesex County Leauge game for Brentham CC.
To commemorate the occasion, Ivor was presented with a Book of Messages from some of the hundreds of players who have had their successes and failures marked with pinpoint accuracy over the past 47 years. (For the record, The Trees would go on to win by 4 wickets on Ivor's big day)
After a three-year apprenticeship in the second-team, Ivor made his first-team scoring debut in 1967. In 2014 he completed 700 consecutive League matches at which point the Score Box was named after him at a ceremony attended by former Brentham member and Ashes winning captain Michael Brearley. Brearley compared Ivor’s scoring feat with the leading wicket takers in International Cricket. Only Muttiah Muralitharan’s tally of 807 now stands ahead in front of Ivor but that will fall next June with Ivor now sitting on 801 consecutive matches.
As well as that incredible number of League matches, Ivor has also scored more than 1200 Cup, Sunday, and Friendly matches to take his tally past 2000 in all competition. That incredible feat of longevity was commemorated in July 2017 with a trophy presentation at the innings break of a game against South Hampstead.
Ivor's astonishing achievements over the years has been recognised by one award after another. He is an Honorary Vice President of both the Middlesex County Cricket League and Brentham Club. In 2014, he was awarded the Middlesex Outstanding Service Cricket Award as well as the UK Outstanding Sports Official prize. He was nominated in 2005 and 2014 for a cricketing OSCA, presented at Lord’s, finishing runner up on the latter occasion. Perhaps the most prized opportunity was being invited to score at Lord’s for a MCC v CCC match in 2015 to add to his appearance at Lord’s with Brentham in 1972.
Club President David Bloomfield said: “Ivor’s achievement is an unbelievable one and something that is unlikely ever to be equalled. Club Cricket is full of people who volunteer their time The Cricket Club has already recognised his unparalleled service to the Club by appointing him as a Life Vice President."