Allegations of phone hacking have reached a new low in the Thames Valley as printing presses have been stopped at the illustrious ‘local celebrity muck-raker’ The Checkendon Gap News. It is said that the temptation around the perennially best selling weekend of the Checkendon media calender, the ‘friendly’ League tussle between local rivals Goring CC, has plummeted the periodical into tapping the omnipotent GCC skipper’s private mobile phone for team information.
Conflict between the two clubs has been rife long before these fresh allegations with numerous players leaving Checkendon to join GCC, dating back to the late 1890s. In the 1960s there was unproven talk of player swapping, notably opening bowlers, with transactions taking place at ‘Swinger Parties’ in the early hours at The Black Horse. Legend has it that Goring wicketkeeping legend Reg Jeffries was offered to have his son Colin taken off his hands if he switched allegiances. His refusal caused serious tension for many years.
The CGN editor cannot comment due to illness recovering from a slumber party at Sharon Westcar’s. However, Upswinger has managed to talk to antipodean owner of Checkendon Gap International, Rufus Heardnot. He stated that “he was appalled at the hacking allegations but his corporation employs 3 full-time and 2 part-time people and the cricket club takes up just 5% of the publication, so he cannot be expected to control such a small area of his empire, especially at a time when there is a hanging basket waterer’s strike going on in Checkendon town centre.” However, he did say something about humility.
Slumber party news rocked the Upswinger offices and further investigations revealed the possibility that Captain Westcar (once Checkendon through and through) was hacking his own phone due to GCC club treasurer Stephen Wincott overhearing, at selection, a telephone call between Jonny Westcar and Checkendon ‘vintage’ player and CGN journalist Tony Brakspeare, who Upswinger cannot name for legal reasons. When confronted with this information Mr Brakspeare said there had “never been an inappropriate meeting” between himself and Mr Westcar and that visiting 22 Hillside via the back door was an “impossibility”. Mr Westcar then fuelled suspicion claiming he had met with Mr Brakspeare for lunch, but he couldn’t remember when or how many times but only that it was Wednesdays, after selection, and the bill was always paid for by Checkendon Gap International. Because these were never official meetings taking place at GCC Committee House but over a beer at The Ferry Boat, he had no reason to disclose the lunches officially.
Mr Westcar has suggested that his position as GCC Captain may have become untenable and he may have to leave with his ‘head held high’ and ‘integrity intact’. However GCC Chairman Toby Tomlinson issued an official statement:
“All these allegations, in my opinion, are spurious and without backbone. Jonny Westcar is an unquestioned servant of the club and any notion that the committee and, more importantly, his team are anything less than 110% behind him at the end of the day is bizarre and ridiculous. Obviously we will be looking into the details more closely after the match on Saturday, but at Goring, we don’t expect this sort of thing.”
One thing’s for sure, this Saturday will be one hell of a game and should not be missed. Suspects, accusers and paparazzi will be there and also there’s going to be a professional wine tasting expert in the early evening sun where all are very welcome, just rock up at 7.30 and enjoy.