In 1970 Farnham became a founder member of the Three Counties League, which they dominated for almost a decade at both first and second team levels. Mick Knowles, Chris Burchett and Bob Shergold were the nucleus of the very strong batting and they were complemented by the fine pace attack of John Storey and Chic Stedman. Other quality players included Rodney ‘Rabbit’ Warriner and Ron Graham, and the side was lead for six consecutive seasons by Mick Knowles.
1977 was a year to be remembered as the club swept all before it. First and second Xl league champions, winners of the evening knock-out league, six a side and indoor winners and the youth teams won all their divisions – a truly golden season. In 1979 Farnham joined the Surrey Cricketers League, and in 1980 Burchett and Shergold established a new club record by putting on 215 against Leatherhead. This pair were the two main run makers of the 1980’s, whilst the main wicket takers were Storey and Chic Stedman, who has just completed 34 consecutive years in the first Xl.
1982 was historic, when the bi-centenary of the first game played between Farnham and Odiham was replayed 200 years to the day after the original encounter. A celebration cricket week was arranged, with games against The Lord’s Taverners, the MCC, a Surrey Xl and the Village Greenies from Grand Bahamas, who included paceman Charlie Griffith of Barbados and West Indies fame. The week culminated in a dinner in the magnificently grand setting of Farnham Castle, next door neighbour for all these years.
The first Xl remained undefeated but could only manage fifth in the league with the bulk of the runs scored by Burchett and Shergold; Ron Graham was the most successful bowler with 33 wickets. The 2nd Xl were the team of the year for the club, winning the championship in fine style: catches offered were seldom dropped, and the batting of Roger Vernier who averaged 51, plus the bowling of Andrew Kieft and Jeremy Browne was decisive and enabled them to amass 152 league points.
The mid 1980’s saw the start at Farnham of one cricketer who could well turn out to be the most celebrated player ever from the club. A 15 year old prodigy called Graham Thorpe. The youngest of three brothers from a cricketing family, Graham began his league career by averaging over 170 in the seconds, and then topping the first Xl during the remainder of the season with a total of 510 runs at an average of 56. In 1986 it was the 18 year old Alan Thorpe who impressed most with his mature batting, taking the League Young Player award, and brother Graham showed formidable potential. Chic Stedman won the league bowling award with 44 wickets in a season which saw Farnham finish a slightly disappointing fifth in the table. The 2nd Xl won their division decisively and in the process set a record of 14 victories.
After several years near the top of the Surrey Cricketers League and then Division 2 of the Surrey Championship, Farnham gained promotion to Division 1 as champions by a comfortable 21 points. The outstanding batsman was Graham Thorpe, now in his first season as a Surrey professional, who scored 675 runs in only 14 innings to average 67. Brother Alan hit 484 at 28, and Chris Burchett 405 at 31. Chic Stedman took 50 league wickets but he was overshadowed by a newcomer Malcolm Kirkland, whose slow left arm round secured an amazing bag of 59 wickets at 8.89 each. The consistent second Xl were runners up to Wimbledon with eleven wins and just one defeat. Long serving club official Don Banks was elected President after many years as chairman.
1991 started with much optimism with paceman Mick Lee on his way from Perth – and ended with total despair after the relegation of the first team. The second half of the season showed a marked deterioration in performances, with only Alan Thorpe scoring runs and some of the experienced bowlers showing very ragged form. Relegation had never been suffered by a Farnham side before and it was a very bitter pill to swallow. The one shaft of light was that the third Xl , runners up in 1990, went a step better and won their league . The end of the season saw Graham Thorpe gain his county cap and he was also selected for his second England A tour to Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
One of the great highlights for all club members came in 1993 when Graham Thorpe was selected for a one day international against Australia. He played in all three matches and was then selected for the third test match at Trent Bridge. The rest is now history – after a shaky six in the first innings he went on to score an assured and confident 114 in the second innings. He became an automatic choice for the remainder of the series but suffered the agony and irony of having his thumb broken in the nets moments before he was to take the field on his home ground at the Oval. The irony was that it was a seventeen-year-old net bowler, Peter Dickinson, from Farnham Cricket Club who hit his thumb. Graham has now been chosen to tour the West Indies early in 1994, treading in the illustrious footsteps of Julius Caesar. Everyone at Farnham hopes that it will not be another 140 years before the next club member is chosen to tour overseas for his country.