The final Second XI game of the season saw Rob Coldwell retire from playing after 18 seasons at the club. There is little doubt he was one of the most successful captains over the past few decades achieving consistent success.
Starting as a Colt, playing under Alan Burton, at Nettleswell & Burnt Mill CC in the late 1970's Rob progressed into their senior and midweek sides initially locking horns against the likes of Simon Baulcomb in fixtures against Harlow CC.
As with so many at the club, Rob was first brought into the fold by Paul Baxter who was desperately phoning round trying to fill a shortfall in players one weekend. As a result Rob made his debut for our 3's away at Leigh on Sea alongside the likes of Lee Jessey and Nicky Baxter. Turned out to be a game to remember as Rob (opening with Danny Stone - seriously how is that even possible?) made 154 helping chase down 220 to win. The club was never going to let him go after a start like that.
Personal performances with the bat ensured he was quickly promoted to the 2's and became part of the fabric of the club.
Despite his notable batting success Rob will probably be remembered as a captain who achieved unparalleled success. In nine seasons as a skipper he won FIVE league titles and was denied a sixth in the infamous points deduction travesty involving Town. Even when not securing top spot his sides finished third on three occasions and fifth once.
Over the past few weeks in conversation with young players playing in our senior sides it was very noticeable how many credit Rob with having a big impact on their careers at Harlow. His ability to remove pressure from them in a supporting and encouraging fashion enabled the likes of young talented players to thrive, become successful and ultimately move up the club - many reaching the First XI.
A man with cricket running through his veins, its difficult to imagine Rob not having some connection to the game he loves, and he already has plans to watch a few games and maybe do a bit of umpiring. Whatever he decides to do, Rob leaves with our collective thanks for all of his efforts over the years and we wish him a very long and happy cricketing retirement.
2011, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 (Fourth XI)
2012 3rd (4th XI Points Deduction prevented league title)
2017 3rd (4th XI)
2018 5th (3rd XI)
2019 3rd (2nd XI)