Former cricketer Henry Olonga delights dinner guests

Former international cricketer turned accomplished singer Henry Olonga delighted guests at a sporting dinner held in Shrewsbury.

Olonga played 30 Test matches for Zimbabwe, helping them win their first ever Test match, but then had to go into hiding for a year because of the stand he took against the country's government.

Olonga combined reflections of his life with performing a selection of songs which were extremely well received by around 100 guests, including former Shrewsbury Town manager Alan Durban, at the dinner held at The Shrewsbury Club.

"It was just a great night," said Dave Courteen, the club's managing director who also acted as the event's compere. "Sometimes things just work out exactly as you hoped and this was one of those occasions.

"Henry is quite a character and has an amazing story to tell. Interviewing him and talking to him, he is truly inspirational. I know that’s an over used description of sports people but in Henry’s case it is entirely appropriate.

"I know that people had an amazing time with Henry sharing his story and then getting up to sing with his incredibly rich velvety voice. It just topped it off.

"It was a great night, good fun, and that's what being part of The Shrewsbury Club should be about. It's what we're here to do."

Olonga was the second guest speaker to perform at the Sundorne Road venue after Garry Richardson from BBC Five Live and Radio Four last year.

The dinner was held on the eve of The Shrewsbury Club successfully hosting the men's singles final in the Aegon GB Pro-Series tournament with Olonga and his family staying on to enjoy the tennis the following afternoon.

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Pete White Pete White

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