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|Motto||Giving young people a sporting chance|
|Headquarters||Chancery Lane, London|
The Lord's Taverners (registered charity no. 306054) is the official charity for recreational cricket and the UK's leading youth cricket and disability sports charity. Its charitable objective is to 'give young people a sporting chance'.
The Lord's Taverners was founded in 1950 by a group of actors and BBC employees, led by founding Chairman and member No.1 Martin Boddey, with others including John Mills, Jack Hawkins, John Snagge, Roy Plomley, Gordon Crier, and Brian Johnston, who used to enjoy watching cricket from the Lord's Tavern pub in St. John's Wood Road, close by Lord's Cricket Ground. St. John's Wood Road links St. John's Wood with Maida Vale.
The Lord's Taverners have their headquarters in London, with the support of over 50 regions. The Lord's Taverners also benefits from the fundraising activities of The Lady Taverners, Regional Committees and its 5,000 Members, many of them drawn from the world of sport and entertainment. The list includes Sir Michael Parkinson, Sir Alastair Cook, Sir Andrew Strauss, Greg James, Miles Jupp, Dame Tanni Grey-Thompson, Jonathan Agnew and Mike Gatting.
The Lord's Taverners was formed in the week after the West Indies' victory over England in the second Test Match at Lord's in 1950. Initially, money raised each year was given to the National Playing Fields Association (now known as Fields in Trust whom the Taverners still support) on the recommendation of The Duke of Edinburgh, Patron and 'Twelfth Man' of The Lord's Taverners.
The existence of the Lord's Taverners and the involvement of early members can be broadly summarised by the following:
"We've all got professional and sporting interests in common. So why not start a club, based at the beloved old tavern here. We can talk about our work and watch the cricket. And we can try to put a few bob back into the game at the same time."
Since its inception, the Lord's Taverners has developed into a membership charity. For the first fifteen years, the NPFA was the sole beneficiary of the Lord's Taverners, with the money all going to cricket projects, mostly for the installation of artificial pitches.
By the time of the first annual dinner in September 1951, the Lord's Taverners had developed a membership programme - mirrored in much of the charity's activities today. Within the first year, the membership included Sir Laurence Olivier, Jack Hawkins, Trevor Howard, Tommy Trinder and Richard Attenborough from the acting world, alongside John Arlott, Brian Johnston, FR Brown, AER Gilligan, RC Roberston-Glasgow, Rex Alston and Sir Pelham Warner from cricket. The mix of business and cricket continues to transcend the core of the charity membership, whilst other sports such as golf are now well represented.
The first official cricket match in the history of the charity was played in August 1953 against Bishops Stortford CC, and Denis Compton scored 36 in one over. Subsequently, celebrity cricket matches emerged and continue to be one of the core fundraising activities of the Taverners. The teams are a mixture of former Test and County cricketers together with stars of stage, screen and sound along with those from other sports. Under the stewardship of former Kent wicketkeeper Derek Ufton, the Taverners hit their first £100,000 target in a season. Since then, and under his successor John Price, the charity now exceeds this figure each year.
From 1972, under Secretary (and later Director) Captain Anthony Swainson RN, the charity's membership expanded through the newly created category of Friends of the Lord's Taverners, whilst the charity expanded geographically outwards from London, developing a series of regional bases. Thus the Taverners turned from a club to a "major charity".
There are now 50 regions, fundraising entities in their own right who collectively raise over £1m per year. The membership change and geographical expansion were accompanied by the development of the Lord's Taverners charitable remit in 1975 (beyond support for the NPFA) when money was first channelled towards providing recreation for young people with disabilities. This new programme initially focused on the provision of the 'trademark' green minibuses which provide recreational opportunities for organisations looking after young people with special needs. The 1,000th minibus was delivered at the climax of the 2012 cricket season; 2016 is the 40th Anniversary of this provision.
Alongside the provision of minibuses, a programme of providing sporting opportunities (now termed 'Sporting Chances') was developed.
The way money is spent by the Lord's Taverners is constantly under review. The charity works closely with the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) who are the charity's principal advisers on how funds to youth cricket should be spent, as well as the MCC, the English Schools Cricket Association and the NPFA. Every year, the Lord's Taverners donates over £3 million to help young people of all abilities and backgrounds participate in sporting activities. In 2015 the Lord's Taverners provided 9.4 million 'sporting chances' for disadvantaged and disabled young people across all of its charitable programmes.
The Lord's Taverners kit recycling programme equips UK clubs and developing nations with kit donated by manufacturers, clubs and members of the public.
The Lady Taverners owe their formation to Baroness Thatcher. Normally each Prime Minister had been made a member of the Lord's Taverners. As a result, the Honorary Lady Taverners were formed and in early 1980 David Evans MP invited Baroness Thatcher to become the first Honorary Lady Taverner.
Baroness Thatcher became a Lady Taverner alongside twenty three other ladies, invited by then Lord's Taverners president Eric Morecambe. They were ladies who had helped at cricket matches and those who had organised a tombola at the President's Ball, including Ann Barrington, Anne Subba Row, Baroness Heyhoe Flint, Marjorie Gover, Judith Chalmers, Betty Surridge and Joan Morecambe.
In 1986 a committee was formed with Anne Subba Row as chairman, and events such as spring and autumn lunches followed. Following the only Honorary Lady Taverners annual general meeting, membership was opened to paying ladies and the first Lady Taverners were elected on 12 October 1987.
The Lady Taverners now have a membership of over 1,000 and draw members from the sporting, show business and corporate worlds.
In 2007 Sir Bobby Robson was to have succeeded Mike Gatting as President, although was unable to do so due to his ill-health. The charity later praised Robson posthumously with a March 2010 formal dinner in aid of the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation, in honour of "The best President we never had".