Presented to the Best Young Player of the season.
Before Rayleigh Fairview had a Sunday team, many of Saturday Fairview players played for other clubs on a Sunday, Nondescripts, Hockley, Southend co-op (known as Billy Lords team), Pitsea St Michaels and various others. Sometimes their players would play for us.
Jim Hilliard and John Kirk played for Billy Lord’s team at Rochford and Jim said he would like to play on Saturday, so early in the 60’s John persuaded him to play for Rayleigh Fairview.
Jim was an outstanding seam bowler, not very fast but very accurate and he could make the ball do all sorts of interesting things. He was particularly good against good batsmen, if he saw a batsman was not much good he lost interest and the zip went out of his bowling. Tony Greatorex, who usually fielded in the covers, would shout “your bowling him in Jim, not bowling him out”. Jim took an immense number of wickets for the club playing Saturdays only, always well over 50, usually in the 70’s and you can work out that because he only liked bowling at good batsmen, these wickets would nearly all be top order bats. Later he switched to bowling off breaks.
When we moved to the new ground, Jim and his family, his wife Carol and his four daughters Sara, Emma, Laura and Sophie, were a tower of strength. Harry Steele laid the square but the five Hilliards spent hours and hours picking stones and rolling (and fooling around with Max) while Dad built a set of changing rooms, our first pavilion. Jim later directed the positioning and building of present pavilion.
As most members know, Jim’s passing was very sudden, having bowled and taken a few wickets he batted and scored a few runs he sat on his chair outside the pavilion and passed away. A very sad moment for Rayleigh Fairview cricket Club.