CURRENT and former Aston Ingham CC players gathered in Shrewsbury on Saturday to pay tribute to Gareth Rigden, one of the club’s finest ever players.

The club posted: “The Memorial Service was followed by a celebration of Gareth’s life; one packed with fun, sport, entrepreneurship, a drink or two, always thinking and showing a keen interest in others, and most importantly being a family man, a husband to Michelle and father to Holly and Osian.

“Club alumni Colin Thomas delivered a fantastic, and at times emotional, tribute in the church at the end of which he raised his bat to G, and a packed congregation made as much noise as possible for a minute.

Tributes have been paid to Gareth Rigden
Tributes have been paid to Gareth Rigden (Aston Ingham CC)

“Onto Berwick House where the stories were regaled and much fun was had reminiscing about a great man, team mate and all round good bloke, and a life very well lived.

“It’s is planned to have an annual cricket match in Gareth’s honour, together with other ways in which his memory will always live on. RIP our great friend, Gareth Andrew Rigden…”

Gareth, Riggo, or G as he was affectionately known, had a 39-year association with Aston Ingham CC joining them as an eight year old in 1980 and playing his final match in 2019.

In 2003 Gareth moved to North Wales where he continued to excel; in recent times for Corwen CC where only last season he took 8-12, the best bowling figures in Wales that Saturday.

AICC added: “Gareth sadly found himself facing an opponent he couldn’t conquer, leaving us on 27th December after a short illness, which he faced with his usual courage and positivity.

“After representing various Gloucestershire County age groups, once senior cricket arrived one of Gareth’s cricketing highlights was scoring a century for Ross-on-Wye v Frocester in the then 3 Counties League.

“When Aston Ingham entered league cricket in 1991 Gareth helped put his village team on the map. Playing in 260 matches across all formats Gareth scored an amazing 8,098 runs at an average close to 50, and took 455 wickets.

“A player that really lifted his team mates, and took them with him, Gareth was a tremendous competitor but once the game was over was a man usually found in the middle of the opposition, with a beer in hand and smile on his face!

“Gareth will be greatly missed by all who knew him.”

With the new season only weeks away, Aston Ingham CC are celebrating the return of cricket with a special lunch with England and Glamorgan legend Robert Croft on Sunday, April 21 (12.30pm).

Robert Croft
Robert Croft (Glamorgan CC)

Known as "Crofty", he was a great off-spinner who played in 21 Test Matches and 50 One Day Internationals, and was the first Welsh cricketer to score 10,000 runs and take 1,000 wickets in first class cricket.

Now a cricket commentator, he’ll be heading to the Millennium Hall in Upton Bishop to provide an insight on what it is like to represent and tour with England.

Tickets are available by contacting Colin Leighton via [email protected] or 07737 796947.