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"Wednesday Special - Half a Lifetime Ago!"

Torquay CC DCL Champions 1996 - Where Are They Now?

1. Haydn Morgan – now lecturing at Bath University having not being able to truly make it in the first class game except for a couple of appearances in New Zealand. His bat does get dusted off but once a year now for the Barton Legends Match held in aid of Rowcroft Hospice.

2. Tim Western – still going strong in the 1st XI but now only two years off, being able to make his debut for the Devon O50s 1st XI. Has / had many roles for both club and county over the years. Will he be joined in the 1st XI by one on both of the next generation?

3. Kevin Barrett – works in the City of London, having been unable to break into the Surrey CCC 1st XI. Though no longer playing club cricket he still turns out for the MCC usually combining the role of being Match Manager. Did return to The Rec for the most recent edition of the Mike Janes Memorial Match.

4. Mike Pugh – with fewer family commitments has now returned to club to drive it forward as Head of Cricket Development. The intervening years saw him return to skipper sides for various “celebration” matches. Even though now well qualified for the Devon O50s, with his brains he can still do a job for the 1st XI.

5. Nigel Janes – having gone down in club history as the only skipper to win back to back League Titles, has now made a new life for his family out in New Zealand. Whether he truly fits into the category of a “Gentleman Farmer”, I’m not sure. Has been known to hop over the “Ditch” to Australia – on one occasion meeting both Kevin Barrett and Evo at the Gabba!

6. Reggie Williams – answered a one season SOS because of a pre-season injury to Justin Mann. Having stayed as understudy for Jack Russell at Gloucestershire CCC for a fair, few years, retired from the professional game and has taught primarily Racquets at Clifton College ever since.

7. Matt Hunt – injuries prevented a possible first class career but was a class act in club and Minor Counties cricket if though slightly spasmodically for many years. Just like Reggie Williams he has turned now mainly to racket sports when not fishing with Team Manager, John Morgan, aka Captain Panic.

8. Neil Hancock – never went home to Australia and several clubs later after an illustrious career, including a few appearances for Somerset CCC, is now rolling back the years for Ipplepen CC where his daughters in particular are developing into very useful cricketers.

9. Ian Bransdon – has balanced his career as an Estate Agent with playing county premier league club Squash along with some appearances until recent years for Dartington & Totnes CC.

10. Ryan Horrell – headed back up to the wilds of North Devon before making or should that be building a new life out in Australia for his family. Today happens to be his 48th Birthday,

11. Ian Baker – now putting 120% into club off the field what he once did on the field. He can only give 110% on the field these days! Achieved one remaining cricketing ambition though to take to field of play with both his sons last season before they go onto bigger and better thigs,

12. Justin Mann – headed across the Bay and still spasmodically keeps wicket for, Paignton CC when his business commitments distributing fruit and veg allow.

13. Marcus Green – still turning his arm over for Ipplepen CC and will hopefully be able to play alongside his son either this year or next. Like Steve Short is a regular for the Mike Janes Memorial Match.

14. Phil Bradford – on leaving the club had a rather nomadic existence but has been seen more of in recent years and threatened to come out of retirement a couple of seasons ago.

15. Steve Craig – continued to be a stalwart of the 2nd XI for many more years as well as becoming Club Chairman. A rare visitor in recent years but hopefully we will seem him walking around the boundary again very soon.

16. James Duder – now has de facto taken on family businesses in the Somerset area but still plays veterans hockey to a good standard and makes the occasional appearance for the MCC.

17. Jeremy Batty – the club’s ad-hoc match day pro. However, 1996 was his last season on the books of Somerset CCC before plying his trade on the minor counties circuit for Buckinghamshire. Now involved in the music business.

18. Steve Short – gradually moved down the divisions but did make a surprise one off comeback for the 2nd XI a couple of years ago. A regular though like Marcus Green for the Mike Janes Memorial Match – his son though is a few years off, being able to join him.

There is though one remaining mystery – Shane Mitchell. We know where his winner’s medal is – it is still on a shelf in Evo’s bedroom. Shane came over for the summer from Australia but must have had an UK Passport otherwise wouldn’t have been able to play alongside Neil Hancock.

It would be wrong not to mention the back room staff. I think we all know where Evo is and up to! (Writing this.) As, for Team Manager, John Morgan, aka “Captain Panic.” Though not actively involved in cricket these days, in recent seasons his appearances around local grounds have become slightly more common when not fishing!

If anyone can throw any light on Shane Mitchell – answers on a postcard to Evo please!

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