Sally Donoghue: The End of an Era

When Sally started her first shift at Somerset County Cricket Club as a young part-time barmaid in 1986, she had no idea how big a part the Club would eventually play in her life.

Fast forward 33 years and Sally, now the Club’s Chief Operating Officer, has taken the decision to move to Spain to spend more time with her family.

After Sally informed the staff of her decision to step down, we spoke with her to discuss her three decades at the Club.

“I enjoyed my time behind the bar in that summer of 1986,” she said. “At the end of that season I’d heard that one of the girls in the office was leaving to have a baby and wasn’t returning, so I went and saw Tony Brown, who was the Club Secretary at the time, and said that I’d like to take her place. He said ‘yes’, and I’ve been here ever since!

“I began as an Admin Assistant in the main office, answering the telephone and helping out with Membership. I then moved into the role of Accounts Assistant, which I did for a number of years. When the Accounts Manager left I approached Peter Anderson, who was the CEO, about taking over her job and he agreed and put me on a year’s probation.

“That was a real learning curve for me, but I loved it. I did that role for about 10 years. Peter’s Secretary then retired and, because of the way that the Club was growing, he wanted to take on an Assistant. I put myself forward and got the job.

“I stayed in the role of Executive Assistant until Peter retired and then, after Richard Gould came on board, my role changed to Operations Manager. I became more involved with the running of the Club and that’s the role I stayed in for the remainder of Richard’s tenure and all the way through with Guy Lavender. Lee Cooper then altered the position slightly and I became Chief Operating Officer.”

“I’m really going to miss the Club, and I’ve got so many fond memories. I’ve met some amazing people and many of them have become friends for life. When it comes to favourite moments, I just don’t know where to begin. Highlights would include winning the Twenty20 Cup in 2005; promotion back to Division One of the County Championship in 2007; my trip to India with the squad in 2009 for the Champions League; hosting an England IT20; winning this year’s Royal London One-Day Cup and successfully hosting three sold out matches in the ICC Cricket World Cup.

“Bath Cricket Festival also holds a special place in my heart. For many years I organised the Festival and it was my favourite time of the year. It was a lot of hard work but very satisfying to turn an open park into a cricket ground in just a few days, and we all enjoyed our time staying in Bath!

“Away from cricket, some of my proudest moments have been the big concerts we’ve staged. Our first one with Elton John in 2006 was a massive learning curve for everyone. We were a small team who just rolled up our sleeves and got on with it. We definitely punched above our weight and continue to do so! The construction of the Somerset Pavilion and the installation of the floodlights is also something that I am incredibly proud to have been involved with.

“It’s a special place and I’m really going to miss it and especially my work family. The Club is in more than capable hands and I have no doubt that it will continue to go from strength to strength and I will be watching and supporting from afar.”

Somerset CEO, Andrew Cornish said: “It’s very rare that you come across someone who is as dedicated to a cause as Sally is to Somerset County Cricket Club. She has played an integral role in the development of the Club during her time here, and without her drive and passion we simply wouldn’t be where we are today. It’s as simple as that.

“In my relatively short time at the Club, Sally has been my go-to person and I know I speak for everyone associated with Somerset County Cricket Club when I say that she will be sorely missed.”

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23/09/2020 10:30 - Lord's

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