Cobalt Sport

Why there’s so much to celebrate in Gotherington

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Author: Roger Jackson, Posted: Friday, 14th February 2020, 09:20

The Old Chapel The Old Chapel

It’s fair to say that Brian Cosgrove, friend of The Local Answer, is a man of huge enthusiasm.

But as well having plenty of energy, the now retired Cosgrove is one of those people who gets things done.

Regular readers of this site will know that Cosgrove is heavily involved in Gotherington Cricket Club, originally as a player and now as the club’s treasurer and groundsman.

He is also one of the driving forces behind the club’s thriving youth section. His wife, Yvonne, is the club’s junior youth coordinator and they are busy looking forward to their 24th season in charge of Gotherington’s next generation of cricketers.

But Cosgrove’s influence extends beyond the village cricket club because he is also one of the trustees of The Old Chapel Community Project - a Gotherington-based charity formed to acquire and renovate The Old Chapel built in 1833, which was in danger of being sold for residential development.

The charity was committed to saving and renovating the building for community use and managed to raise £55,000 in six months to allow the purchase of the building in November 2018.

“Since the purchase, the building has hosted regular events, including a monthly village cinema, yoga, Tai Chi, musical evenings and Bingo hosted by Reverend Richard Reakes!” said Cosgrove.

Now the charity is shortly to host an open day, the purpose of which is to share their exciting renovation and refurbishment plans for the building.

The Open Day will take place on Saturday 22nd February (11am-3pm) and Cosgrove added: “We’re anticipating commencing the renovation and refurbishment work by the end of March and, fingers crossed, complete it by the end of September.”

The Old Chapel Community Project has been successful in three of its applications for funding, raising £67,000, and Cosgrove added: “We’ve also garnered a further £26,000 via section 106 plus another grant which we received confirmation of recently.

“We also have a number of other grant applications in process as well as local fundraising events planned over the next few months.”

Cosgrove, like everyone else in the village, is understandably delighted with all the good work that has gone on at The Old Chapel and, as a big cricket fan, he’s equally delighted to see the recent upturn in England’s Test match fortunes.

“Yvonne and I went to the first three Tests of the series in South Africa,” he said. “We flew out on Christmas Day.”

And Cosgrove may be something of a lucky charm for England because he and Yvonne also went to South Africa for the 2015/16 series which England also won – there can’t be too many England cricket fans in recent times who have watched two series overseas and seen them win two!

Mind you, Cosgrove wasn’t impressed by England’s 107-run defeat in the first Test at Centurion even though they were by ravaged by illness.

“Gotherington Under-13s would have batted better,” he laughed.

Things picked up for Joe Root’s men after that, of course, and things have certainly been picking as far as Cosgrove’s football is concerned.

As a lifelong Liverpool fan, he admits he’s “in heaven” now, while as a season-ticket holder at Cheltenham Town for more than 20 years he’s also enjoying the progressive football being played by Michael Duff’s team.

And Cosgrove’s sporting interest has recently extended to the world of horseracing because he part-owns the Jonjo O’Neill-trained Terry the Fish while Yvonne has a share in The Manuscript, which is also trained by O’Neill.

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