Saturday, March 30th, 2024

Paul Pridgeon Honoured by Club After Five Decades of Service

Worcestershire have awarded Paul Pridgeon an honorary life membership in recognition of more than 50 years sterling service for the County in many different capacities.

Pridgeon won three County Championship titles and a host of other honours during a career spanning 18 years in which he picked up 530 first class and 217 List A wickets.

He then co-ran the satellite academy for three decades with David Manning alongside his role as cricket professional at Shrewsbury School and helped identify and coach a conveyor belt of talent which includes Joe Leach and Adam Finch in the current squad.

In addition, Pridgeon had a spell as Chair of The Cricket Steering Group, has been a Board member for nine years, Vice-Chair and acting Chair.

He stood down as a Board member at this week’s Annual General Meeting after the maximum term permitted of nine years.

Members unanimously approved the recommendation of the Board that Pridgeon be awarded an honorary life membership.

New Vice-Chair, Dave Baker, Head Coach Alan Richardson, new Club President and former Worcestershire captain Phil Neale and Joe Leach have led the tributes to the role played by Paul Pridgeon since he first became a player in 1971.

Dave Baker said: “I cannot think of anyone more worthy of being nominated for an honorary life membership than ‘Pridge.’

“His playing record speaks for itself, and not many players win three County Championships, but what he has achieved since has also been exceptional.

“He has helped bring through loads of cricketers to the club, with Joe leach and Adam Finch in the current squad, and has had nine years on the Board.

“He was Chair of the Cricket Steering Group, which was effectively an unofficial, unpaid Director Of Cricket role for many years, has been club Vice-Chair and more recently acting Chair.

“He’s given his heart and soul to Worcestershire and with his experience and knowledge I’m sure he will still have a part to play in some capacity for many years to come.”

Alan Richardson said: “I’m old, but not as old as Pridge so I can’t quite remember his playing days! His impact and contribution to the club, in as many different facets as he has done, is testament to him.

“He had a really good career as a player but then continued with his involvement and that has been of huge value to the club.

“We talk about the legacy of the club, and have been blessed with many people who have been involved with the club for a long time, and Pridge definitely falls into that category, as someone who has contributed as a player, on the Board, as a coach, as a mentor for people.

“His influence on the club has stretched so far over such a long period of time.

“Pridge is someone I’ve known a long time from my involvement at Shrewsbury School. I was a sports coach there for two years while I was still playing at Worcestershire and his influence on me and how he went about stuff….he is someone I have leant on a hell of a lot in my time at Worcestershire and in my time as a coach.”

Phil Neale captained Pridgeon for much of his playing career at New Road.

He said: “You can’t give more than he has done for 50 years in whatever capacity he has been able to. He has given everything.

“He was a great servant and reliable bowler and I was always pleased to have him in my side because you could always rely on him to do a job.

“The work he has done more recently since I started coming back to the club, when I saw him in charge of the cricket steering committee, has been phenomenal and he has been contributing fantastic amounts.

“The work he did at Shrewsbury School, the satellite academy….I don’t know how many players he has produced for Worcestershire but it is a quite a number and some are still there at the club.

“He was a good footballer as well and I’ve got nothing but admiration for the guy. He has been Worcestershire heart and soul for 50 years.”

Pace bowler Joe Leach is also full of praise for the impact Pridgeon has had on his career and Worcestershire cricket. 

He said: “I’ve known him since the age of 13 at Shrewsbury School. The impact Pridge has had on the club, particularly in the last 10 years, really can’t be over-stated.

“You only have to think about the amount of talent that has come through a pathway that he kind of co-created and which has now evolved into the Shropshire EPP.

“Just the talent ID and coaching he put into the group can’t be under-estimated.

“We’ve had some phenomenal players come through there and it’s right to say as well, not just for Worcestershire but also the game of cricket if you think about some of the people who have gone onto play internationally.

“Anyone who has had an association with one club for as long as Pridge has deserves a lot of credit and it speaks volumes for his loyalty and how much he cares for the club.”

The Annual General Meeting of the Club also approved Cynthia Crawford MBE as an Honorary Life Vice-President and Fanos Hira as an Honorary Life Member pending his eligibility for election as an Honorary Life Vice President at the 2025 AGM in accordance with Club Rule 16.1.