I donned my Panama hat and jacket for the Worcestershire County Cricket Club Chairman’s lunch, to hear about the next phase in the re-shape at New Road. The new Chairman Fanos Hira spoke with authority and clarity regarding the changes that are planned in the next phase of transformation. He was ably backed by an experienced board room and New Club president Cecil Duckworth CBE, who gave full backing to CEO Matt Rawnsley’s new One Club vision. Change is always difficult and sometimes painful, but it was needed at Worcestershire and I feel confident that the Club are in good hands. I wish them every success.
I was invited to lead Worcester City FC out at the Allpay Park stadium by the Mayor of Hereford Cllr Sue Boulter against her local team Westfields in aid of her chosen charities. I enjoyed a match that Worcester City dominated for large periods, the game ended in a 1-1 draw & I took the opportunity to talk with fans of the club about their hopes and concerns. The irony was not lost on me that I was leading City out in exile. I firmly back the Bring City Home campaign and hope that a solution can be found as soon as possible.
An invite from Michael Underwood, my old boxing coach, for a visit and training session at Worcester Amateur Boxing Club transpired provided an entertaining evening, where I was brutally put through the paces of a boxer’s regime. All those memories came flooding back of the time I spent as a teenager sweating it out in his gym. I was able to keep up for the most part, but my pad work lacked sting and my legs felt like tree trunks. Feeling brave I stepped into the ring with England National Youth Champion Owen Cooper for a bout. I was felled along with my ego, with a clean upper cut within 30 seconds. Thank you, Michael, for the great work you and the club do in keeping the kids off the streets, teaching them discipline and respect and providing a place for them to belong.
I end with a prayer for the victims and families of the terror that emerged in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday. I stand united with many others in condemnation of the attacks and in solidarity with the people of Sri Lanka and Christians across the globe. There are forces at work in the world that seek to divide communities, nations, races and religions and sow discord and the seed of hate amongst Humankind. We must use every opportunity we have to unite and grow stronger together and show that, despite the doom and gloom, love and good will defeat the hate and evil.