Simon Williamson to retire

Tuesday 6th March 2018

Simon Williamson to retire

Head groundsman Simon Williamson is to retire at the end of 2018 after more than 20 years at the club.

Simon has led the club’s 10-strong groundstaff after he succeeded Andy Peirson in 2008 following more than a decade at The Spitfire Ground, St Lawrence.

Under his charge, Kent won a commendation for four-day pitches in 2015 and hosted several international sides who were complimentary about the playing and practice facilities.

Simon said: “It’s been a tremendous honour to lead the Kent Cricket groundstaff but I feel it’s the right time to spend more time with my family.

“It can feel like a 24/7 job in the summer months and I believe Adrian and the team can continue to deliver pitches for great cricket for the members and supporters to enjoy in the years to come.

“I’d like to thank all my team for their hard work and support over the years and everyone at the club for their backing.

“I know of other clubs where there’s interference in pitch preparation or the groundstaff don’t have the equipment, personnel or support we enjoy here at Kent.”

Kent Cricket CEO Ben Green said: “We will be very sad to see Simon go as he’ll be missed by all staff and supporters alike.

“Regular visitors to The Spitfire Ground will be familiar with Simon’s passion for the club and groundskeeping.

“He has an encyclopaedic knowledge of the ground and has worked tirelessly to prepare and maintain the ground whatever the weather and the schedule throws at him and his team.

“We remain firmly committed to equipping and supporting our groundstaff as much as we can as we firmly believe good, professionally prepared pitches are central to the spectacle that members and supporters enjoy.”

Prior to joining the club, Simon started his career at St Lawrence College before joining Thanet District Council to work for 14 years on Northdown Park in Margate, Broadstairs Bowling Green and Jackey Bakers Recreation Ground in Ramsgate.

During Simon’s spell in charge, Kent have returned to The County Ground, Beckenham with a full-time, year-round team now in place there.

In addition, Simon works proactively with clubs and the Kent Groundsman’s Association to improve grassroots facilities with advice, loans of equipment and access to training and funding.

He has also built up a relationship with Hadlow College, who have trained several of the club’s groundstaff.

Simon will step down at the end of 2018 and assistant head groundsman Adrian Llong will succeed Simon as head groundsman in January 2019.