Shenley Village Cricket Club - Tribute to Pete Allen

Tribute to Pete Allen by Club President Ray McLennan

The year was 2010, England were playing a world one day final, and it was only on Sky TV, probably on a Sunday, so a bunch of us decided to meet at the Walkabout sports bar in Watford. Richard may have been there but I remember Lloyd and James D for sure,Jemile and mostly first team players, but not more than that. There were other sports on the various screens and the cricket was only on one. There were just two tables of cricket spectators. The Shenley group of around 10, and Pete on his own.  It soon became obvious that we were the noisy group and Pete was more studious watching every ball of every over, so I went over to his table and introduced myself, and asked if he was with a local club which we thought was the most likely scenario.
Pete soon mentioned he was from up north and had played a lot of club cricket, but was down south for the work and as a dry cleaner couldn't always play Saturdays, BUT he was thinking about looking for a local club.  "Well look no further mate, our meeting was meant to be and have you heard of the Shenley Cricket Centre?"   

 Pete was humble about what turned out to be a lot of experience in the Manchester leagues and naturally I told him He couldn't find a better club to join and he would be very welcome whatever his ability turned out to be.  We agreed the social side of cricket was what was most important and He would fit in easily despite our 'foreign' accents in common. 
He joined our table for the 2nd innings and he and I took turns in buying drinks, while the others were taking part in rounds of 8-10 pints, at a pace we couldn't keep up with.  We exchanged telephone numbers and I later got in touch to give him the address and suggested he comes down for practice nets and see the facilities and if he likes it pay a proportion of the membership fees for the remaining part of the season. 
After that he was a natural Shenley member, always stayed behind for a drink and a yarn,  and we were always pleased to see each other after the games although in different teams.  A solid club cricketer, who knew the game very well, and could quickly tell the difference between a true  protagonist and a pretender. 

In 2018, when Kiel first came to the club Pete Mentioned to me that he was losing the use of his left arm and replied to my enquiry around the club for a used car to buy for Kiel, because he couldn't change gears and was getting an automatic. That was the first I heard of his illness, in early spring, around late Feb/early March. He asked for a very reasonable price and was keen to help Kiel, but it turned out the insurance was going to be much more than the car so it never happened, but we got to visit his flat in Hemel  which had a nice smell of incense, and pictures of  Buddha, and a definite spiritual vibe.  For the rest of that season Pete only came to the ground as a spectator, but still took a keen interest in all the teams fortunes.  
The only disappointment he ever mentioned to me about his time with Shenley was that he had not been asked to 'keep' for the 1's when Matty Evans was not available, as he thought he could have done a good job, and from all the performances I ever saw of him for the 2's, he would have been just fine in the role, particularly with his stumpings, which were too fast for most batsmen. But typical of Pete it was only a quiet comment between the two of us at the bar, with no bitterness or complaint. Just the thought that he could have helped the club, and keep him in mind the next time.

Peter Allen, it is a pleasure to keep you in mind at every opportunity.  A true servant of the game, who gave many years of quality wicket keeping and batting, friendship and loyalty, to add to the rich History of the Humble Shenley Village Cricket Club.   
You are greatly missed.

Ray McLennan.