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Remembering Paul Baker

19 Feb 2024

Chippingdale Cricket Club have been left stunned by the devastating news of Chairman Paul Baker’s passing on Friday 2 February 2024.

Paul’s association with Chipps began as a 14 year old in 1973, and after a glittering playing career, spanning over 600 matches (scoring over 18,000 runs and taking nearly 400 wickets), he has spearheaded the club as Chairman (since 2008) and as Club Secretary for an incredible 40 years.  

Under his tenure, Chipps have grown to become a major club in Worthing, running 3 Saturday sides, achieving Clubmark Accreditation in 2007, and secured funding for the two bay cricket Nets and artificial wicket in 2012.

It is Paul’s (alongside wife, Carol)’s involvement in the Chipps Junior Section, however, that has left such an indelible mark on so many young boys and girls.  

When the Club was going through a player shortage in 1994, Paul and club colleague, Jerry White started the Chipps Colts initiative, with both players qualifying as Coaches, and started up a 13 – 16 year old section.  

Over the years, this Colts section has flourished, generating many hundreds of players for Chipps, including current Club Captain Josh Bourne.  

Paul and Carol have continued to introduce the very youngest of players to cricket, running a soft ball U10’s team for nearly 20 years, and introducing the ECB All Stars and Dynamos programme to 5 to 11 year olds in 2022.  

Their enthusiastic and fun training sessions have been enjoyed by many children and parents alike.

Paul’s selfless passion for cricket, and helping others, led to Chipps introducing a Breakfast Networking Club in 2013 alongside Paul Wood, supporting local charities.  

He played a major part in Chipps being recognised as Sussex Sports Club of the Year in 2012, he received an Outstanding Service to Cricket Award (‘OSCA’) and he also took a sabbatical from work to work with Sussex County Cricket Club.

However, his proudest moments were seeing daughter Hayley come through the Colts system, playing for Sussex junior age groups, and then as Captain of the first Chipps Ladies Team.  

In latter years, he has also been able to enjoy the success of grandson Harri, who now plays for the Chipps adult team.

Speaking on the passing of such an important figure in the local community, Sussex Chair, Jon Filby, said: “I first played against Paul in 1979 for Pathfinder CC v Chipps and worked with him on recent projects especially during his sabbatical at Hove, where he had a huge impact on the work we were doing at the time creating Sussex Cricket. 

"He was one of the truly great men of recreational cricket in Sussex - passionate, collaborative and selfless.”

Paul is survived by wife, Carol, children Hayley and Scott, and grandson, Harri.

Paul’s funeral will be at Worthing Crematorium, 1pm, Wednesday 28th February.  A reception afterwards will be held at Cissbury Barns, Nepcote.  Please email Chippingdale Cricket Club if you wish to attend the funeral and/or reception.

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