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Batsman Sains makes tough decision to leave his boyhood Hornchurch after 25 years

PUBLISHED: 12:00 07 March 2019

Chris Sains of Hornchurch in bowling action against Horndon (Rob Newell/TGSPHOTO)

Chris Sains of Hornchurch in bowling action against Horndon (Rob Newell/TGSPHOTO)

Rob Newell/TGSPHOTO c/o 27 Plaiters Way, Braintree, Essex, CM7 3LR - Editorial Use ONLY - FA Premier League and Football League

Long-serving all-rounder Chris Sains has opted to leave boyhood club Hornchurch to start a new adventure at Shenfield, writes Jacob Ranson.

Hornchurch's Marc Whitlock and Chris Sains in 2013 (pic Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)Hornchurch's Marc Whitlock and Chris Sains in 2013 (pic Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

The 40-year-old, who lives in Shenfield, decided it was time to move on and let the youngsters come through the Harrow Lodge Park ranks.

But Sains has nothing but fond memories of his time at the club and revealed it was extremely hard to make that decision.

“It’s the end of era, I’m gutted to say the least, and I’ve got a lot of friends there,” Sains said.

“They’ve got a cracking young side and my best mate in life is Marc Whitlock, who I’ve known since I was two years old, so that’s difficult.

“Leaving Hornchurch overall is difficult. Jeremy West has done a tremendous job and he deserves every bit of success that club can give him.”

Sains, who played a part in Hornchurch’s treble-winning season in 2018, feels so strongly about the club that he would never want to come up against them in the future.

After all he made his first appearance for the club back in 1993 before breaking into the first XI in 1998.

“If we drew Hornchurch in a cup, it’s a game I would definitely not play in, it wouldn’t feel right,” he said.

Sains will now be watching his former club’s results avidly in hope they can retain their Shepherd Neame Essex League Premier Division title.

“I wish Hornchurch all the best, if they can achieve a quarter of what they did last year I’ll be more than happy, but I hope they go on to win the league,” he added.

The dad of two felt the time was right for him to move on and allow the budding young talent to start coming through the ranks at the club.

“I couldn’t have done any more than I’ve done at Hornchurch,” Sains admitted.

“Obviously we won the treble and Billy Gordon is doing a great job as captain and they now want to get some young blood in.

“Myself being 40 now the Premier League is a difficult format, getting up at 7am when I’ve got two young boys, who both play cricket as well.”

Sains leaves the club having tallied a total of 4,962 runs, with his best season being a total of 588 in 2012.

Another highlight would have been when he hit 172 in a match two years later along with a number of promotions during his time.

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