Pete was a left arm bowler who joined Upminster from Ilford Catholics for the 1997 season, having also previously played for Buckhurst Hill. He had been part of the very strong Catholics 1st and 2nd XI set up who were a force in the old Morrant League in the mid 90s. Originally Pete came to Upminster to play 2nd XI cricket with the likes of John Nash, Dave Allen and Nigel O’Dell, all of whom he had got to know when previously playing against the Club, but his performances for the 2nd XI meant he, along with his good friend O’Dell, spent much of the 1997 and 1998 seasons playing in the 1st XI.
As the club strengthened around the turn of the century Pete found himself in the 3rd XI, and in 2001 he took 39 wickets as John Nash’s side stormed to the Division One title. His performances that season meant he was awarded the Colin Hart Trophy as Bowler of the Year. He continued to be a key member of the successful 3rd XI side over the next few seasons where his wily bowling and experienced cricket brain were important to the team. In 2004, when the Club was left without a 4th XI captain, Pete stepped into the breach and skippered the side, giving a chance to a number of the Club’s promising young players as he did this. He returned to the 3rd XI the following season, and then over the next few years played for all of the Club’s sides from the 1st XI to the 7th XI, and in 2009 was again crowned the Club’s Bowler of the Year. He left the Club at the end of the 2011 season to play for Loughton, and also went on to play for Hornchurch.
Pete’s contribution to Upminster Cricket Club was about much more than his on field performances. Although he was a keen competitor on the pitch he was always first to the bar after the game to enjoy a beer with his own team and the opposition. And on top of this he was someone who always wanted to contribute to the development of the Club. He held many roles on the Club’s committee during his time at Upminster, in an era when the Club was expanding and moving forward. He and his family would always support club functions and events and Pete loved the Club tours to North Devon where he was always at the forefront of the action and often one of the last to bed!!
When Jenny Nash was unable to continue as tour organiser after 2004 Pete stepped up to keep the week going for three further years. As Pete’s son Luke began playing the game Pete also became involved in the Club’s thriving youth section, running sides, organizing games and encouraging young people to play cricket. The U15s reached the final of the Cox and Kings Trophy under his guidance and a number of youngsters who played in Pete’s sides still play for the club today.
Pete was an influential member of the Morrant League Committee in the 1990s and was also a member of the SNEL Committee for several seasons. He was one of those who believed you got out of club cricket what you put into it. Whatever club he played for he was always available, both to play and take on off field roles. There were not many people in Essex and East London cricket who did not know of Pete Williams.
Everyone at the Club would like to send their condolences and best wishes to Pete’s wife Sarah and children Luke and Emily at this very sad time.
** Pete’s funeral will take place at 2.15pm on Friday 18th January at Forest Park Crematorium, Forest Road, Hainault, IG6 3HP.
Updated 14:33 - 13 Jan 2019 by Kevin Roome