Wednesday, December 9th, 2015

Former England Star Steele Has High Hopes Of Fell

Former England Star Steele Has High Hopes Of Fell

England legend David Steele says he is expecting "big things" from Worcestershire batsman Tom Fell during his career.

Steele coached Fell for three years from the age of 16 when he was a pupil at Oakham School in addition to current England paceman Stuart Broad.

The 1975 BBC Sports Personality Of The Year has high hopes that Fell, who underwent surgery in October for testicular cancer, can eventually step up onto the international stage.

Steele, speaking at last night's month meeting of the Worcestershire Cricket Society, said: "Tom is a good player and I can see him coming through. I hope he does.

"I am hoping for big things from Tom. He just wants to come up a gear. I was a bit shocked when I heard the news about his health and wish him all the best.

"I coached him for three years. He came on a sports scholarship to Oakham as a 16-year-old. He broke all the records at Oakham, he got really big scores.

"I recognised his potential straight away. He was the best player I saw at Oakham School.

"He will come through and higher up they (England) have got to grab him. He will come through and I hope he gets in the England team – the proper stuff (Test cricket) though.

"He can play both forms of the games but he is technically good and sees the ball well."

Steele, whose father was a miner, gave an entertaining two hour talk in the 1865 Lounge about his lengthy county career before his breakthrough into the England side in 1975 against Australia at the age of 33 and triumphing against fearsome duo Dennis Lillee and Jeff Thomson.

He was also a big fan of former Worcestershire captain Norman Gifford from an early age.

Steele said: "He was bowling against the 1960-61 Australians and I watched it on TV and loved it. What a bowler, marvellous, on the spot, strong.

"For 15 years he bowled at me and never stopped moaning! But what a bowler and if it hadn't have been for Derek Underwod, he would have played 100 Tests."

Steele also described the late Worcestershire legend Tom Graveney as his "favourite player" with his quality of stroke play.