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“2021 Tour Ratings




The Far from the MCC’s Tour of Brighton, East Sussex was a long time in the making. Well, two years to be exact, with the small matter of a global pandemic affecting the scheduling. Anyway, the weather for the most part would behave itself, as did the party who travelled down (mostly).


Honouring the epochal ‘Player Ratings’ Inspection of 2008, and those (inferior ones) that have subsequently followed, here is the latest utterly mesmerising and beguiling findings from our coastal adventures….



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‘Tour Player Inspector’






Name:  James Bateman

Rating:  18* out of 62*



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Fresh off the mean streets of Wootton, James is yet to celebrate his fiftieth Birthday and has an attitude to boot. A debutant tourist, he threw himself into the role of getting shitfaced at every opportunity, holding his own and producing the goods out in the field. He also took one for the team by rooming with the nocturnal Hotson, which might explain his thirst over the four days.




Name:  Matt Bullock

Rating:  Second Best at Denton



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Matt was exceptional on Tour, navigating groups of inebriated MADsters effortlessly from one watering hole to another and getting them all back home again (to see Lenny). His drinking capabilities are known to all, and a barometer for measuring your own success (or failure). A quietish time on the field, where one remembers some runs at Denton… and then… some more pub crawls. As said many times before, he is the epitome of the club.




Name:  Geoff Carter

Rating:  Truly MAD



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Geoff is a Legend. Full stop. Central to the club’s blame culture, he lets it all just roll of his seasoned shoulders, finds a witty riposte and lets the idiot with the latest accusation work it out. He cemented his burgeoning status by most likely stealing the MAD Moment of the season at Ferring, collecting the ball as keeper, spinning on the spot and deftly crushing the stumps into the turf as he narrowly avoided impaling himself.




Name:  Andrew Darley (Butt-Head)

Rating:  Has Blood on his Hands





Eternally ebullient – two words we always use to describe Mr Darley, so here they are again. His childlike enthusiasm for all things Tour knows no bounds, and henceforth, he’ll probably be forced into driving a Team Bus in 2022. Here in Brighton, Andy ensured we lost at Ferring during a barnstorming run chase, saved the day at Hailsham by repairing someone’s head, and propped a casino up by gambling for 36 hours straight after securing a ten-thousand-pound loan.




Name:  Giant Duck

Rating:  Covid Free



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Giant Duck had a reasonably quiet Tour, surviving multiple excursions and providing a stuffed and squelchy tummy for MAD players to rest their heads and fall asleep on during games. He was briefly exposed to the elements during a monsoon at East Brighton Park, but thankfully a guy in his underpants scooped him up and brought him ashore.




Name:  James Hoskins

Rating:  12.5%



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A marvellous performance from Tour veteran JMO. Fuelled by 12.5% beer, he single-handedly beat Denton, was unplayable at East Brighton Park, a virtuoso super-sub in his shorts at Ferring and there to support the weight of Bob’s body for 12 hours at Hailsham. Off the field he won his first million at the Casino, did some break dancing on the table at the Queen and Kings and even had the energy to run his own day by day Quiz that nobody can quite remember.




Name:  Jake Hotson

Rating:  Now Returning to Earth



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Jake drank straight for 96 hours, only occasionally stopping to play a bit of cricket. His best performances included officiating proceedings at Ferring whilst polishing off a dozen cans of Ribena, starting a fight at a casino and joining a bunch of rappers in a park during the early hours of Saturday (am). Also, of special note, has been his organisational work in finally sorting the Tour of Brighton, just a shame he never factored in a global pandemic.




Name:  Ian Howarth

Rating:  On a Cold Streak





After a brief meltdown concerning Covid testing and announcing he was withdrawing from Tour, Spam turned up nonetheless to get pissed and infect everyone. Universally acerbic and diligent to his cider, Howarth recovered from pneumonia after streaking at East Brighton Park, to hit a fine fifty at Ferring. He was also on hand with his cameras to carry our paparazzi duties during the new action movie ‘The Felling of Bob’.




Name:  Jon Newman-Robson (Beavis)

Rating:  TFC



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Stepping up to the oche on Tour after months in the wilderness through injury, Jon provided a herculean performance as he put some wicket keeping gloves on and… erm, that was about it. He didn’t bat against Denton, he was dropped for a Friday on the piss and went down like the Twin Towers at Ferring. Notwithstanding a body as fragile as a Western backed Afghan army, he soldiered on to heckle anyone in earshot and destroy most of his liver.




Name:  Mike Reeves

Rating:  5 out of 9



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Another reliable Tour for Mr Reeves, throwing in a 5-for at Ferring and then batting for himself. Mike loves Brighton, and Brighton loves him, so much so, he drove all the way home to come back with his missus a few days later. He probably stayed at the Premier Inn too, but this time had more mature company, better conversation and wasn’t surrounded by the stale smell of farts and unwashed cricket whites. Whether Kate brought flapjacks for their excursion is a great unknown.




Name:  Chris Roberts

Rating:  Bloody Awful





Forever injury prone, Bob went one step further by using his head at Hailsham to try and glance one in at the far post. Going down quicker than a stripper at Stringfellows, Chris used up the club’s supply of sawdust mopping up his claret on the popping crease. Thankfully now fine, the team wonder how he avoided being charged with a dropped catch. Off the field, when he wasn’t being whisked to A&E, Bob guided his team mates around his former stomping ground and got stuck right the fuck in. Note to Mr Roberts: keep your head down.




Name:  Mark Rundle

Rating:  Acerbic



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Not the greatest Tour on the pitch for Psycho, but then opportunities were limited, especially when you get sacked off for a day on the lash and then see another game abandoned because someone can’t catch. But Tour ain’t all about “on the pitch”, it’s off the field that counts, it’s about being glib, drinking, making sick jokes, dishing out your Liverpool towel to the broken and having to room with the corpse of Howarth… and Runders ticked all these boxes, so fuck right off!




Name:  David Shorten

Rating:  73* out of 144



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David hits a BIG ball. That much is known and who will forget his maximum riddled bash at East Brighton Park? Truly extraordinary and in complete contrast to the intoxicated, misadventures of his team mates that day. That victory is on you, Mr Shorten, oh… and the other guy who took that cheap 5-for. Heart-warming company as ever, David is another of those essential Tour accessories for just being… different and not throwing up all over his hotel room. He also enjoyed jogs on the seafront, though Katie Price’s whereabouts are unknown.




Name:  Gary Timms

Rating:  Likes a Dance with Kitbags



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There was no sleeping on beaches with G&T’s this year, Glastonbury didn’t happen, so Gary only had his credit card for company. Dismal on the first day, throwing beer all over himself, he awoke from a rain-drenched stupor at East Brighton Park to… bowl straight. This he did, ball after ball, as rabbit after rabbit twitched and hopped back to the pavilion. It was 5 for 5, until someone correctly added up four singles to make it 5 for 4. FIVE FOR BLOODY FOUR! Then he drank some more.




Name:  Russ Turner

Rating:  One Chair out of One



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Taking a backseat from all that captaining bollocks, Russ afforded himself as much as he wanted to drink, as much as he wanted to eat and relaxed back into that station wagon where all the other ex-captains booze, talk about former glories and generally do fuck all. Superb on the crazy golf, he was less so on the cricket field, never quite hitting his straps, so took his frustration out on a plastic chair at Ferring. He also forced the closure of Burger King and Noori’s Curry Indian Restaurant, after declaring war on flame grilled burgers and poppadums.