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Hall of Fame

Stellas champion within Hampset, John Bell

John Bell

John Bell

John was what we call a ‘proper ‘cricketer! He made his Hampset debut in August 1946 in a game at Devizes! He played many times for the club primarily as a batsman before retiring from the game in the early 1980s. John captained Hampset between 1958 and 1960, eventually finishing 4th highest run scorer in the club’s history. John took a very active role off the field of play once he had hung up his boots, taking on many roles including club chairman between 1986 and 1992. John took the lead in organizing the building of the new clubhouse across the winter of 1986/87 to give us the lovely clubhouse we have today. It was during this time that he began taking a real interest in what had become known in the late 1980’s as the Stellas. John often took an interest in our games, in who we were playing, how we had got on and most importantly where we had played. He eventually offered us the chance to play at Hampset every week during the season. Up until that point we were playing the majority of games either away or at Odd Down playing fields. While his offer made sense to him and the club financially [after all, he knew how much alcohol we consumed!], it was also a genuine offer to give a team made up of club members a home ground with excellent facilities. We played all of our home games at Hampset for the best part of the next decade, and these years became for many [myself included}, a golden era. As relations between the Stellas and Hampset grew from strength to strength, John ensured that we maintained a positive and high profile with everyone at the club. He knew most if not all of the Stella players at that time and ensured that we were well looked after. As a slight aside, it was John who got Stella Artois put into the club in the late 1980s mainly at the request of a lot of people who played for the Beer Team at the time; hence the Stellas as we know them today were born. John therefore has a strong connection with the naming of the Stellas. In later years John’s health began to deteriorate, but he often had long chats with me about how the Stellas were doing, comparing our attitude to both the game and the club favourably in comparison with many cricketers who represented the club at that time. I personally invited John to attend our 25th anniversary meal back in 2007 at the Rose and Crown in Hinton Charterhouse, unfortunately although he was delighted to be invited; his health prevented him from attending. John retained a real interest in the Stellas right up until his death a couple of years ago. I felt privileged to represent the Stellas at this funeral, and will always remember John as a very strong supporter of our team, doing everything he could to support us and all that we stood for as a ‘sporting’ team. I nominate John Bell to be inducted into the Stella Hall Of Fame. Nominated 2014 at the second member of the Hall of Fame.