Sunday, June 5th, 2016

County Players Of Yesteryear Reunite For Wopa Day At New Road

County Players Of Yesteryear Reunite For Wopa Day At New Road

Players from many different eras were reunited today as Worcestershire CCC held their annual Worcestershire Old Players' Association (WOPA) day in the 1865 Lounge.

Dozens of former stars gathered at New Road for lunch and swapping memories plus watching action from the Royal London One-Day Cup clash with Derbyshire Falcons.

Those present included Roy Booth, Rodney Cass, Bob Carter, Paul Pridgeon, Phil Newport, Vanburn Holder, John Elliott, Norman Gifford, Jim Cumbes, Martin Weston and Duncan Fearnley.

Former paceman Pridgeon, who now runs the County satellite academy at Shrewsbury, said: "I think it is very important for all the former players to get together because we had great times together when we played here.

"It is nice to come and support what is going on here with all these youngsters playing out there at the moment and it's nice to stay in touch."

Pridgeon, who featured in the 1974, 1988 and 1989 Championship winning sides, added: "We all catch up, swap a few stories, have a couple of beers and enjoy ourselves but it's great to watch the cricket at the same time.

"There are people from all different eras coming back together. It is important we keep this tradition going."

Ex New Road wicket-keeper Cass said: "WOPA Day is important because most of us are no longer playing but we like to keep in touch with the old pals, tell the old tales and exaggerate a little bit how good we were.

"It brings back great memories. That is the beauty of cricket. Worcestershire is a great place to play cricket and it takes a beating."

Former Worcestershire seamer Cumbes, who also played in goal for West Brom and Aston Villa, said: "WOPA day is very important because the days you remember in your life are your playing days and the people that you played with.

"When people ask what you miss about the game, I think it is the dressing room and the players.

"The game itself, you move on because you get too old to play. There are a lot of memories and it's great to see the people you played with and the officials."