MCC is proud to announce that during the first LV= Insurance Test Match between England and New Zealand at Lord’s this week, it will be showing its appreciation of key workers and volunteers by asking them to ring the five-minute bell to signify the imminent start of play.
The honour of ringing the bell at Lord’s is almost exclusively reserved for former international cricketers, administrators, or well-known enthusiasts of the game. However, MCC has taken the opportunity during this match to say thank you to a variety of people who have made overwhelming contributions to society since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic.
To open the bell ringing this week, the Club is delighted to welcome the family of a very special person who captured the hearts of a nation during the pandemic. Captain Sir Tom Moore became synonymous with the country’s fight against the virus, raising an incomprehensible £39 million for NHS charities.
Colin, Hannah, Benjie and Georgia Ingram-Moore will be ringing the bell on the opening day of the match. They have formed a Foundation in honour of Captain Tom, as they look to continue his legacy, and launched the Captain Tom 100 Challenge at Lord’s in April on what would have been his 101st birthday. A devoted cricket supporter, Captain Tom was made an Honorary Life Member of MCC in June 2020.
Day two sees Joe Taylor of Community Access Westminster having the honour of ringing the bell. The organisation provides Learning Disability Day Services for adults with autism and learning difficulties, and Joe was nominated by his colleagues having gone above and beyond in his role during the pandemic, liaising with families and stepping up to the challenge of ensuring the service can operate as safely as possible during such a difficult period for everyone.
We link back to Lord’s for day three’s bell ringer. Earlier this year, Lord’s became the biggest vaccination centre in the borough of Westminster and welcomed thousands of local residents for their inoculations against Covid-19.Many NHS staff and volunteers worked tirelessly to ensure the success of the centre, which went on to administer over 45,000 vaccinations until it closed in mid-May. An ever-present at the hub, Dr Tariq Mahmood will ring the bell – the volunteer played a key role at the site and personally carried out around 5,500 vaccinations.
On day four, Malik Fergus-Wallace of Unity Works will be ringing the bell. The MCC Foundation, the charitable arm of MCC, worked closely with social enterprise Unity Works in the early stages of the pandemic last year, launching an appeal which raised over £78,000 and funding more than 23,000 meals for those in most urgent need of support.
The project was delivered by Unity Works and Malik, an apprentice with the organisation, will be representing all those involved in helping to provide 900 meals per day to homeless and vulnerable residents across Westminster. Malik will be accompanied by Brian Fantoni, Head Chef at Unity Works, who worked with Malik in delivering the project.
Unity Works is a charitable organisation that supports people with a learning disability to gain skills, qualifications, and jobs. They run social enterprises across London including cafes and event catering as vehicle to support their mission.
If the match goes to a fifth day, MCC will announce the final bell ringer on the final morning of play..
"These are people who have made outstanding contributions in their fields since the beginning of the pandemic, and are representing the many thousands of other NHS staff, keyworkers and volunteers"
The bell’s usual position within the Pavilion falls within the players and match officials’ areas. In its normal home, the Club wouldn’t have been able to allow special guests to ring the bell due to the tight Covid restrictions around players and match officials. The bell has therefore been temporarily re-located to just outside the Pavilion, in front of the Bowlers’ bar, on the playing area.
Guy Lavender, Chief Executive & Secretary of MCC, said: “We are very proud to be able to welcome a number of special individuals to Lord’s this week to ring the five-minute bell.
“These are people who have made outstanding contributions in their fields since the beginning of the pandemic, and are representing the many thousands of other NHS staff, keyworkers and volunteers who have all been on the frontline in the fight against the virus.
“This is our way of saying thank you to not only those who will be with us at Lord’s this week, but everyone who has played their part in these difficult times.”