On 6 October 2018, Upminster Cricket Club added Paul Middlemiss as it’s 8th Life Vice-President. This is the highest honour the club can give one of it’s members, and is awarded for exceptional and ongoing service to the club.
“Middle” joined Upminster Cricket Club in 1992. As a newcomer to the game, it wasn’t long before he was made the captain of the colts team, leading the side to numerous league successes and culminating in the team reaching the final of the Mobil Matchplay competition in 1996. This was a quite phenomenal achievement given the club at the time was playing in the Morrant League. It is a testament to Middle’s leadership that most of this squad still continue to play league cricket for the club some 22 years later.
After continuing his captaincy with the Sunday Team, Paul moved through the sides and it was in 2004 when he broke into the First XI and was an ever present at wicketkeeper in the title winning from Division Two.
As the club went through a boom period on the playing side, Middle found a niche for himself on the playing side as the Third XI captain, a role he took on for a number of years. Many stories hail from this era, and it was during this period Paul scored a Third XI record of 161 not out in an match away to Woodford Wells.
It is no coincidence that a number of younger players came through the side at this time who moved onto playing First and Second XI cricket with a good understanding of the game and the values of the club.
Having taken on other roles in more recent seasons including running the Seventh XI and Fifth XI to help bring through youngsters into the adult side, Paul has moved back up the teams and now plays again for his beloved Third XI. It was fitting that the team finally secured their first Premier League title this season with a defiant Middlemiss carrying his bat for 88 not out in the crucial last game of the season.
However, for all of Paul’s efforts on the pitch, it is his off the pitch commitment to the club that sets
It was around 1997 when Paul became involved with the Club Committee, and a protégé for the future. Since then he has undertaken the roles of Chairman, Treasurer, Secretary, Chairman of Youth Cricket, League Rep, Bar Liaison Officer, Pavilion Club Rep, Pavilion Club Chairman, Press Officer, Benefit Match Secretary and Chairman of Selectors.
In all of those roles, without exception, Paul has gone above and beyond what would reasonably be expected of him, and is also a constant sounding board for other officers and club members who need some guidance or assistance.
Basically, if it’s got anything to do with Upminster Cricket Club, it’s probably got Paul’s fingerprints on it somewhere.
Perhaps the club owes Paul the biggest debt of gratitude is for his organisation of the annual Benefit Match against Essex CCC, which he has organised for the last 10 years. This is an event that is quite unique to Upminster both across Essex and much further afield.
As well as being a fantastic advert for the club in the wider community, it is a very important fundraising day for the club. The money raised from these events over the years has been crucial in a number of the larger projects the club has undertaken in recent year. Without these funds, the club would not be able to exist in the form it does currently.
In more recent season’s Paul has spread his wings further and is now a committee member for the Shepherd Neame Essex League, and a Member of the Metropolitan Cricket Board.
The club is delighted to have acknowledged Paul with this recognition, and welcome him to the exclusive list of Club Life Vice-Presidents.
Updated 13:49 - 8 Oct 2018 by Kevin Roome