Tredwell game a huge success
Tredwell game a huge success

Stars from Kent Cricket and former Gillingham stars turned out at Folkestone Invicta in memory of the late John Tredwell.

There must have been enough well known names and faces, both on and off the pitch, to have filled half a dozen teams as Kent sports folk came together in fond memory of the late John Tredwell and to praise the cricketing achievements of his son James in a Charity Football match on Sunday.

Sandwiched between two wet and fairly grey days, the sun shone on the righteous on a still crisp November morning and several hundred spectators turned up to support the event at Folkestone Invicta’s Fullicks Stadium.

Fittingly in memory of a man renowned for his sportsmanship and fair play, the match between a predominantly Folkestone Football Xl and a Kent Cricket side ended in a 5-5 draw with plenty of action and some cracking goals among the ten scored.

It was a virtual last kick penalty from ex-Invicta striker Simon Austin that secured the draw for the ‘home team’ though the glory went to the club’s still record goalscorer Jimmy Dryden who grabbed a fine hat-trick.

“No, I’m not up for a comeback” said honest Jim, now 37 but playing as well as anyone on the park on the day.

Their other goal came cricketer and hockey player Ben Allon, playing alongside his dad Andy, one of the organisers of the event.

For the cricketers, Kent’s outstanding veteran all-rounder Darren Stevens and Dave Masters (Kent, Leicestershire and latterly Essex) impressed with two goals apiece.

The fifth was scored by Leon Stone, a former Kent Seconds quick bowler who captained Folkestone CC – then including James Tredwell, his brother-in-law and fellow former England star Geraint Jones plus former Kent players Rob Ferley and Robbie Joseph – to the Shepherd Neame Elite Kent League championship in 2001.

John Tredwell played for the old Folkestone Town Club from the age of 15 till he retired from that game in 1989, 32 years later, when the Town club folded.

He was also a formidable slow bowler for first Ashford and then Folkestone for many seasons.

James Tredwell, has captained Kent teams at almost every age level, skippered the County for one season and can also have claimed to have led England in a one-day game (when the captain was off the field!).

After a successful testimonial year, ‘Tredders’, now 35, has earned a new contract with Kent next season though his future in the game at senior level now well be in coaching.

Invariably praised by the cricket pundits and commentators, James’ excellent benefit brochure includes glowing tributes from former England captain Alistair Cook and his successor Joe Root, plus England coach and former Kent team-mate Paul Farbrace, ex-Windies captain Jimmy Adams and many of the great and good in the game.

Proceeds from the day will be shared between James’ testimonial fund, the Professional Cricketers Benevolent Fund, and Crohn’s & Colitis UK.

The complimentary match programme included many tributes to John Tredwell from the footballing community including Invicta manager Neil Cugley, former Arsenal, Dover Athletic and Cheltenham Town midfielder Russell Milton, ex-Folkestone Town team-mate Dennis Churms and other friends in the game.

  • Former journalist Mick Cork writes: “I’d like to tell you if I may of one day back in 1989 when I was persuaded to become stand-in scorer for Folkestone Cricket Club for a few weeks in the absence of long-time statistician Fred Collins who was absent because of an illness in his family.

‘We’ were playing Gravesend, who were skippered that day by Kent’s own Simon Hinks with the visitors batting first.

Our star player in a strong team that was on its way to the town side’s first Kent Elite League title was little left-handed opening bat and leg break bowler Jamie Baker who ended up with nine wickets for just 33 runs as Folkestone skittled Gravesend for barely 100.

The other wicket was taken by John Tredwell whose genuine grief that his solitary success that afternoon had robbed Baker of the chance to take all ten only underlined, for me, Treddy’s belief that cricket is very much a team game and not about individual glory.

It was a characteristic that he had always shown in his footballing days too.

Along with a wonderful sense of fair play and loyalty that is something his son James has clearly followed as he has become this area’s most successful cricketer for a long, long time.

My three kids – including daughter Nicola – all fondly remember John Tredwell’s colts’ cricketing coaching sessions at Cheriton Road on Friday nights along with young James.

I’m proud to say that they have all become good team players and enjoyed their sport for the right reasons if not quite reaching the same heights in their chosen games.