THE former owner of a village shop and post office has spent the summer watching cricket, thanks to the generosity of his customers.

Cal Challoner ran Shorwell Stores with his wife Marian for 32 years, until she passed away last year.

Grateful villagers held a party in his honour after he decided to sell the business, raising more than £600 for him.

Cal said: "I didn't know there was a whip-round until my friend, Peter Dawson, told me and asked me what I would like as a present.

"Well, I don't need anything, but over the years I would go with Peter to watch Ventnor Cricket Club on a Sunday afternoon, so I suggested cricket tickets."

Over the summer, Cal and his friends have visited the Ageas Bowl, Southampton, to watch six cricket matches — including a one-day international between England and Pakistan.

He also met Tim Tremlett, director of cricket at Hampshire.

Cal said: "It was always well organised and everything was paid for, including lunch.

"I am so grateful to everyone.

"My son, David, came up from Kent to join us for the England international, which was a lovely occasion."

Peter said: "Cal and Marian gave so much to the village, so it was wonderful that we could give him a show of our appreciation."

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