Centuries galore at Beechgrove (Roy Torrens tribute match)
On 4 July 2021 the stars will come out as a tribute to the late Roy Torrens when Brigade Cricket Club celebrates its centenary with a match like no other. Here is the latest information on the event.
Brigade name five internationals (23 June 2021)
Brigade have named five internationals in the North West team to play a special Ireland lineup in the unique match to mark the centenary of their Beechgrove ground and pay tribute to their late chairman Roy Torrens.
The Irish squad of 12 is made up entirely of current and former players who have each played at least 100 times for the country. The North West side has now added to the international flavour with the selection of Andy Britton, Andy McBrine, David Rankin, Stuart Thompson and Craig Young.
The two teams are:
Andy Britton, Ross Allen, David Barr, Kyle Magee, Ryan McBeth (all Brigade), Andy McBrine and William McClintock (Donemana), David Rankin (Bready), Jonny Robinson (Fox Lodge), Stuart Thompson (CSNI), Craig Young (North Down)
William Porterfield, Andrew Balbirnie, Andre Botha, George Dockrell, Peter Gillespie, Ed Joyce, John Mooney, Kyle McCallan, Niall O’Brien, Paul Stirling, Andrew White, Gary Wilson.
Roly Black and Alan Neill.
Ticketing for the Match (21 June 2021)
An unique match to celebrate the centenary of Brigade Cricket Club’s Beechgrove ground and pay tribute to the Londonderry club’s late chairman Roy Torrens is to be ticket only. COVID restrictions will reduce the number of spectators able to watch a team comprised entirely of Irish internationals who have each played at least 100 times for the country.
The big-hitting T20 game of the centuries will be staged against a Brigade North West X1 on Sunday, July 4.
Ticket applications should be made by email to: firstname.lastname@example.org by Tuesday, June 29 and will be answered by email. Names of people requesting tickets will be required along with one contact number for a group.
Tickets will be free and there will be a charity collection at the gate.
Brigade’s events manager Bertie Faulkner said:
“We expect a big demand for tickets and will try to accommodate as many as possible for this very special occasion while adhering to the strict safety guidelines.”
Before the 2.30 pm start a clock in memory of Roy Torrens donated by the Cricket Writers of Ireland will be unveiled by his widow Joan. It was Roy Torrens who had the idea of the game before he fell victim of COVID 19 at the turn of the year.
All the Ireland XI taking the field played for Ireland during the 12 year period he was team manager and will be led by William Porterfield who has a total of 303 caps. The team includes the present captain Andrew Balbirnie and current internationals Paul Stirling and George Dockrell and among the former internationals will be Kyle McCallan and Ed Joyce.
The Announcement (13 June 2021)
The late Roy Torrens had no doubt how his beloved Brigade Cricket Club should celebrate the centenary of its famous Beechgrove ground on Derry/Londonderry’s Waterside.
It would be a match like no other with one of the sides totally comprised of players who have each represented Ireland at least 100 times.
The day of many centuries has now been organised for Sunday 4 July 2021 - six months after the legendary chairman of the club had fallen victim to the coronavirus.
The internationals paying tribute to the man who managed them for more than a decade will be led by former captain William Porterfield who has played 303 times for Ireland. The team will include the present captain Andrew Balbirnie (143) and current internationals Paul Stirling (292) and George Dockrell (227). Former centurions include Ed Joyce (151), Kyle McCallan (227) and Gary Wilson (292).
John Mooney (182), Andre Botha (142), Niall O’Brien (216) and Peter Gillespie (124) complete a line-up that includes seven of the 10 most capped players in the history of Irish cricket.
The big-hitting T20 match will be against a Brigade Select XI side featuring North West players. Before the 2pm start, a pavilion clock will be unveiled in Roy Torrens’ memory on behalf of the Cricket Writers of Ireland.
The Irish players will turn out in specially adapted international shirts donated by O’Neills - “Team Torrens” will be on the front and 507 on the back (Roy’s number on his 30 appearances for Ireland).
Brigade’s events manager and former chairman Bertie Faulkner said it was fitting the match would be one of the most intriguing ever to be staged at Beechgrove. He said:
“The players on parade will make it an unforgettable occasion in the history of the club. It’s wonderful that so many icons of Irish cricket have made themselves available to honour not only Roy but also the club he loved.”
William Porterfield said there was no problem in assembling the team. He said:
“Everyone accepted straightaway. They want to celebrate the life of a true friend they respected and loved as well as play again at one of Ireland’s finest grounds.”
Roy Torrens managed Ireland’s men’s team from 2005 to 2015 and included the final stages of three ODI World Cups and four T20 World Cups. On his retirement he returned to his lifelong Brigade club and was chairman for his last five years.
The Brigade club was founded as Church Lads Brigade in 1906 playing its first games at Brandywell. There was to be a second ground for a year in 1920 on the Waterside area of the city before the club settled in the nearby Beechgrove. The name Brigade was adopted in 1923 and back in 1954 the club bought Beechgrove for just £800.
Down the years, Brigade has won the North West Senior League 15 times and the Senior Cup 11 times.
The double came to Beechgrove twice and Roy Torrens was at the centre of both. He played in the side of 1973 and when the two trophies were again won in 2019 he was chairman of the club.