20 September 2021

THEY may be estate agency rivals off the pitch, but on it two of the sector's leading names came together in a twist of fate to help cricket legend Ian Botham's latest charity and a host of other good causes.

Linley & Simpson were sponsors of the champagne moment in a match between the Lord's Taverners - supported on the day by many England greats from yesteryear - and the House of Lords and Commons Cricket Club, which included former Health Secretary Matt Hancock in their line-up.

And, in the most unlikely of circumstances, the winner for a "lightning stumping" was wicketkeeper Kevin Hollinrake, the sitting MP for Thirsk and Malton and founder of Linley & Simpson's long-standing counterparts, Hunters Property.

The fund-raising match was staged to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the iconic 1981 Headingley test match when England pulled off one of sport's greatest-ever upsets in defeating Australia, thanks to the performances of Lord Botham and the late Bob Willis.

Lord Botham was joined by fellow squad members, including David Gower and Mike Gatting, for the commemorative match, which took place at the historic Pudsey St Lawrence ground in west Leeds.

Nick Simpson, CEO of Linley & Simpson, said: "Both Hunters and ourselves have strong Yorkshire roots and have known each other since we both opened our doors in the county in the 1990s, so it is fitting that Kevin took the award.

"Our Pudsey branches are High Street neighbours in the market town but never did we think at the start of the day that we would be standing next to each other at the end of it at the presentation.

"We were thrilled to be part of such a great community event, which was free to attend and included a cricket demonstrations, ladies softball cricket, and a host of other fun activities designed to attract more people into the sport."

The Pudsey St Lawrence club is one of Linley & Simpson's community partners and earlier this season the agency funded a new-look for the ground's scorebox, which is now decked out in an eye-catching bright blue to mirror its branding.

All the money raised on the day supported various good causes, including Lord Botham's Beefy Foundation, the Lord's Taverners Charity; and the Yorkshire Brain Tumour Charity.

Kevin's £500 prize for winning the champagne moment is being donated to the Pudsey St Lawrence club - where England legends Sir Len Hutton, Herbert Sutcliffe and Raymond Illingworth all launched their careers - to help promote the sport in the community, especially among children.

Despite his performance and a swashbuckling innings from Matt Hancock, the match - played in a 20-20 format - was won by the Lord's Taverners.

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