Hayden Drexel (1946-1999)
Ninth Life Member of the Shoalhaven Ex-Servicemen's Cricket Club, conferred in1997
Because of the club’s ground named in his honour, Hayden Drexel will never be forgotten by Ex-Servicemen’s CC.
He was one of the original SDCA juniors, playing with Presbyterians in that 1958-59 competition, and also had the distinction of playing in the first match on Artie Smith Oval in 1964-65.
He and his father Horrie also played with Trojans, and there was one occasion when the father and son took all Berry wickets in a second grade match. While still a teenager, he was captain of that club’s first grade side.
When Trojans folded, he joined Ex-Servicemen in 1969-70, and apart from a couple of short breaks, was part of that club for the rest of his life.
A notable on-field achievement was as a member of the third grade premiership side of 1970-71, scoring 57 in helping Ex-Servicemen chase down Berry’s grand final total of 314. Later in that decade he was captain of thirds and had already become active coaching junior teams.
His greatest contributions were in administration, holding the positions of president, secretary and treasurer at different times – always with a minimum of fuss.
While representing the club at association meetings, he served as treasurer in two stints, but the pinnacle was his appointment as SDCA president in 1994-95, and he continued in that position until failing health prevented him from going on.
Hayden showed some rare emotion when his life membership was conferred at the club’s 1997-98 presentation night, for he regarded it as a highlight of his cricketing career. He did not have long to enjoy it, for he died during the following season.