David, Who Was Ashely Godber To You? An Interview With Alice Godber (1)
Updated: Apr 25
What relationship did you have with Ashley?
Ash was an amazing man. He cared about everybody he knew and for me his importance can really be summed up in one or two stories I’ll try and sum up briefly. Firstly, my first real experience of Ash’s generosity when I was going through a rough time. Presentation night at the end of the season, I can’t remember the year exactly but I really couldn’t afford the night. I was far too proud to accept being paid for or anything at the time I saw as charity because I was too proud. A few hours of this back and forth I got this message asking “it’s Mel’s birthday soon isn’t it?” Of course, it was so, next he said “I’d like to get Mel a birthday present, a meal for two at the Bay horse this Friday evening.” This was at exactly the same time as the Cherry Burton presentation we really had no choice but to attend and of course this was all a ploy to make sure we didn’t feel left out. Secondly and possibly my favourite memory and the one I’m certainly most grateful for… When I found out Mel was pregnant with Freddie I went into a flat spin! It was terrifying at that point and Ash had got word of it from Stew who I lived with at the time. The following day I got a text telling me I was going to Hull v Cardiff at the KC that night and he was going to pick me up! Obviously, my mind was all over with panic and trying to make sense of things and he pretended not to know anything (to start with). We then spent the night talking through how it would be fine, how it’s one of the best things that could happen and obviously much more through the few hours we were their whilst also making as many attempts to distract me from it as possible! It was a real skill to both deal with and distract me from the biggest melt down I could have had. So, when he met Freddie for the first time at Hornsea I was lucky enough to be able to thank him for that night. 3 Weeks after Freddie’s birth Ash also signed him up as Cherry Burton younger member.
How was Ashley important to Cherry Burton cc?
Ash was everything to Cherry Burton Cricket club whilst his title was as our chairman he did so much more. He was our chief recruiter and many of the people in the club play because Ash convinced them it was a good idea or enabled them too. Some of the younger lads certainly benefited from his phenomenal generosity, whether it be just a lift to the game or paying subs if you were struggling. He just wanted everyone to enjoy playing like he did. He was the man you could look to who would always be smiling on the pitch, whether we were hammering a team or on the other end of a hammering. For everyone he was the ultimate team mate and the first one to congratulate you for doing well but also the first to encourage when things weren’t going quite so well. He was also our self-appointed ‘social secretary’ and loved the opportunity to get everyone together even if it was just staying for a drink after the game. I think no matter how many words I use there’s no way to do justice to just how much he did for everyone. If he did as much for half as many people as are in the club as he did for me off the pitch he will have been an unbelievably busy man, but he’d never let on who or why he was helping.
How did you feel when the accident happened?
The accident really left me confused more than anything. Very little was known of what was going on. At the time I was due to be playing for our LMS team and was running late to set off so I had text Ash letting him know. The next thing I saw was a message in our group telling me not to set off from one of the other lads, as there had been an accident on Bishop Burton Road. It was completely unbeknown to me at that point that it was even anyone off our team involved. There was then about a 20-minute silence where nothing was heard at all. Then we found out that Ash had been involved. Obviously, some of the lads had been on the scene trying to do what they could to help. The whole night then is a little bit of a blur and we all headed up but nothing really sank in at all that night. To be honest I’m not sure it has really sunk in yet, I still expect him to turn up to play some Saturdays when we have games.
What affect did the accident have on the Cricket club?
The games immediately were extremely difficult but I have never played in a team more determined to win in my life and it was all for him. That season took over everyone’s life from there. We lived and breathed making good things happen because we knew it was what Ash wanted! Every game, every wicket, every run, was for Ash. I think that season we had 11 people every week doing exactly the same, when we did it there was an amazing feeling of pride! Corringham at home was the day we sealed the league title. He’s still in everyone’s minds whenever we step on the pitch and he is why we push so hard to improve.
How did “The Godber Foundation” come about?
It is quite hard to explain really but it came from a few discussions between myself and Stew. We knew that we couldn’t let Ash’s passing see an end to the work he did. Whilst there where areas we could not match Ash’s contributions, we knew there were things we could do. We started out with “The Ash’s” thinking it was something ambitious that we had discussed with Ash a few times but we all thought would be difficult to make a success of. Following that huge success, we set about hitting Ash’s targets he had set out in his Hull 10k fundraising plan. This had also been completed in his memory. Obviously in order to do everything we needed to fund it and massive events like the Dinner were events we wanted to put on. We knew that Ash would have loved to attend. We have since focused on areas he always spoke to us about, bringing young people into cricket, especially Cherry Burton and sharing our love of the game.
This interview was held by Alice Godber with David Butt.