It saddens me to report that, after a brave fight these past few months, my dear friend Garry lost his battle against Cancer on Saturday 30th September, 2023.
Born on 19th August, 1962 to parents Brenda and Pat Walsh, the young Garry briefly attended Southwood Infants before a family move to 101 Dagenham Avenue saw him ‘transfer’ to Thomas Arnold Primary School along with younger brother – now Club President – Lawrence and older sibling Tony. He went on to attend Parsloes Manor Seniors and often referred to halcyon days in the 6th Form where he made many lifelong friends including fellow Club Life Vice President, Terry King.
On leaving school he became a Lloyd’s Insurance Broker and spent five of his formative years with me at Wigham Poland where he was very popular and organised Charity Pub Crawls such as the ‘Ten Commandments’, ‘The Long Good Friday’ and the ‘Dirty Dozen’. One of the office pranksters, following my first nought for the Club, he took great glee in anonymously mailing a package to me at work, which I opened in front of my highly amused colleagues to reveal a plastic duck. Priceless ! This was later mounted to become the first duckboy award.
He went on to work at CE Heath where he was influentail in introducing a young Kurt Whisker to the world of Insurance.
Garry’s passion for Cricket was embodied by all that was good about Goresbrook CC. As a Founder of our club in October 1981, he was instrumental in creating the Constitution and oversaw day to day operations, serving as Club Secretary from our initiation until handing over the reins to Steve Barlow in 1998. He also enjoyed a tenure as Secretary of the CCS Assessors Essex Cricket League.
As an opening batsman, wicket keeper and occasional bowler he made 432 Appearances during Seasons 1982 to 1997 with a brief return during the 2004 campaign before he emigrated to Australia the following year. Accumulating 3,018 runs, 86 wickets, 87 catches and 4 stumpings, Garry reached the pinnacle of his Goresbrook career on 28th May, 1989 when making an unbeaten 100 against Little Hadham. His best return with the ball was a respectable 4 for 6. He was a member of our first ever side that played at London Marshes CC and was allocated Club Number 8.
Garry and I shared a passion for rock music. We regularly attended gigs by groups such as Thin Lizzy, Motorhead, Asia, MSG as well as following our friend Mark Venable’s band, Lone Wolf (Dianno), at various haunts around London. Enjoyable nights were spent at venues such as the Marquee and the Ruskin Arms but when all was said and done Garry’s favourite act was Bruce Springsteen and the E-Street Band. He saw ‘the Boss’ on several continents throughout the years.
An Arsenal fan who also appreciated the finer elements of Rugby, Garry became a big fan of Brisbane Broncos (League) and Queensland Reds (Union) down under and held season tickets for both teams.
The kindest of men with a permanent smile on his face, his positivity was typified in the later stages of his battle when he refused to be downbeat during calls.
Garry is a Goresbrook Legend and his memory will live on every time a player steps on to the field to represent our Club.
Sleep well my dear friend