The Leeming Spartan Cricket Club held its belated 2019/20 season windup in October after months of uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 virus. The absolute highlight of the night was the induction of just our sixth Club Legend, Lydia Read – a truly inspirational and dedicated member of the Spartans for more than 65 years.
On behalf of the Leeming Spartan Cricket Club, we cannot congratulate and thank Lydia enough for her immense contribution to the Spartans – she is an enormous asset and very much at the heart of the Spartans. Her humility and humbleness are two characteristics that best describe Lydia – she is one of the most approachable and wholehearted people you will ever meet and never has a bad word to say about anyone.
She has been very much the “First Lady” of the Spartans for almost seven decades – a remarkable individual who exemplifies everything the Leeming Spartan Cricket Club aims to be, a place for all people where they can be part of a family.
Lydia’s induction as a Club Legend last month is absolutely deserved. To denote just how significant this achievement is, a Spartan Club Legend is given to someone who has donated more than 45 years of service to the Club. Lydia meanwhile has surpassed this by twenty years.
An enormous congratulations to you Lydia, you are an instrumental part of the Club and just such a sensational person to know – you certainly are a Spartan through and through!
Spartan President Peter Coombs and Club Legend Lydia Read on the night of our windup.
There were of course many massive highlights during our 2019/20 Windup held at the clubrooms last Saturday – but beyond any doubt the single most important announcement came towards the back end of the night when we officially unveiled just our sixth Club Legend in our 102-year history.
We were therefore truly delighted to announce that Lydia Read is now part of this most exclusive and incredible group.
It is simply impossible to detail just how important Lydia is to the Spartans, as to summarise six and a half decades into just a few paragraphs is an incredible challenge.
The collective goosebumps, tears of joy and smiles from all the 150 in attendance when Lydia’s name was read out, is but a testament to just how remarkable Lydia and her contribution to the Club has been.
First joining the Spartan Cricket Club back in 1955, she was inducted as a Life Member in 1974 (the first woman to receive this honour) and rightfully becomes just the sixth person to be inducted as a Spartan Club Legend.
The WACA website also recently recognised the outstanding contributions of Lydia Read to the Leeming Spartan Cricket Club on their website, which is available for reading here.
From running the vital canteen to organising a variety of functions, supporting the players, doing the dishes and opening up her home as a clubhouse of sorts back in the day, we really can’t think of a more deserving Club Legend. The canteen alone served as the number one money earner back in the day and helped keep the doors open at the Spartan Cricket Club for more than fifty years.
I could honestly go on for hours to show just how incredible Lydia and her family are to the Spartans, and admittedly this was part of the reason for the delay in writing this article because to do her proper justice and make sure I did it right was always going to take a lot of hours. Ultimately, however, the knowledge that all of those who have ever spoken to Lydia (perhaps even just in passing) are already well aware of her passion and immense kindness means that an article such as this really does write itself.
Lydia’s achievements are second to none, but best of all, her warmth and kindness to everyone is truly remarkable. She is the most genuine and sincere person you will ever meet, she epitomises what the Leeming Spartan Cricket Club is all about and we congratulate her and thank her for her dedicated support.
Her unwavering support has meant she has been part of the Club for most of our history, helping out whenever and wherever she can. At the back end of last season she was even caught doing the dishes after a function at the clubhouse.
Always humble, we are truly indebted to Lydia for her amazing service of the Spartans for the past sixty-five years. We are so proud and grateful to have her as part of our family, and we really cannot thank her enough.
The Read/Blight family and close friends celebrate Lydia’s induction as a Club Legend
Deb Blight speaks on behalf of her Mum Lydia after her announcement as a Club Legend
The Read family has truly been entrenched within the history of the Leeming Spartan Cricket Club and Lydia is very much the patriarch right at the top.
The story of the cricketing family that is the Reads is a sensational one, and it was amazing to have their family present at the windup last month to see the patriarch Lydia inducted and receive the Leeming Spartan Cricket Club’s highest individual honour.
Lydia alone is already a Life Member, Club Legend and the mother of former Australian Test Cricketer Karen Read. Karen, her sisters Sue and Deb (the latter also a Life Member of the Spartans) and their family were all present on the night, and it was such a delight to see them all come together. By all accounts they had a sensational night and this was perhaps highlighted later on when the karaoke came out and renditions of “Sweet Caroline” and the Spartan Song were performed for the new generation of Spartans.
Lydia’s late husband Lew is also one of most important and renowned figures of the Spartan Cricket Club, part of our Team of the Century, a Life Member and dedicated member of the Club.
Family is something that keeps clubs like ours going strong after more than 100 years, and for the majority the Read clan has been an integral part of it. Deb Read is also married to David Blight, he too a fellow Life Member and Club Legend.
Lydia’s son Peter Read is also a fellow Club Legend and former President, and although Peter was unfortunately unable to make the night he recorded the video shown below that was played for the audience.
Lydia’s son (and Spartan Life Member) Peter Read recorded the above video which was played on the night.
Without any shadow of a doubt our newest Club Legend Lydia Read isn absolutely deserving recipient of our highest individual honour, and really what makes her so special is that even this award is not enough to truly say thank you for her amazing work and commitment to the Leeming Spartan Cricket Club.
The dedication Lydia has shown to the Spartan Cricket Club for more than sixty-five years is nothing short of remarkable, an astonishing and endearing commitment to the Club that she has loved for almost seven decades.
It is also so important for the Club to recognise and give back to our superstars, of which Lydia is certainly one, and this small honour is a testament to her character and time she has spent with the Spartan family. We are so, so, grateful to have not only Lydia’s help and support but her whole wonderful personality and friendship here at the Spartans.
On behalf of the Leeming Spartan Cricket Club, we congratulate and sincerely thank Lydia Read for her unsurpassed dedication to the Spartans. A truly-deserving inductee of Club Legend status, Lydia is a cherished Spartan who has had the Club and her family at heart for all this time, and for that we say thank you so much.
A snippet from the old Spartan Chronicle – in 1966! – thanking Lydia for her assistance in organising a function.
Read The WACA Article