Clubs: Appleby Frodingham, Worcestershire CCC

Roles and Representation: Captain of Worcestershire CCC, Footballer for Lincoln City and Scunthorpe United

Honours: Wisden Cricketer of the Year 1989, Captained Worcestershire to success in the County Championship in 1988 and 1989

Phil Neale

Philip Anthony Neale was born in Scunthorpe on June 5, 1954, and attended Frederick Gough Grammar School and John Legott Sixth Form College. He played his early cricket for Appleby Frodingham thanks to his father, who was an electrical engineer at the App-Frod Steelworks. His promise was apparent from a young age: at 15 he was awarded the HW Bale Cup for the outstanding player under 21 years of age by the Lincolnshire Cricket League, and he continually topped the Scunthorpe and District League batting averages. He attributes much of his later success to the help, encouragement and coaching he received while training as a young boy at Brumby Hall.

He represented Lincolnshire CCC during 1973 and 1974, while studying Russian at Leeds University, and made his full-time debut with Worcestershire in 1975, having trialled for them at the age of 18. He was also a talented footballer, who had played for Scunthorpe United alongside Ian Botham, and on the recommendation of a local reporter, Tommy Taylor (father of the Lincoln City manager) he began a professional football career in 1974-5 as a fullback for Lincoln City. He juggled the two sports for 10 years, and saw Lincoln twice promoted from the Fourth Division to the Third, before quitting football in 1985. He was the last man to play both games professionally.

By this time he was captain of Worcestershire, and felt he needed to focus his efforts on cricket. Worcestershire achieved considerable success under his leadership, winning the Sunday League in 1987 and 1988 and the County Championship in 1988 and 1989. He also attracted big names to his side, including Botham, Graham Dilley and Graeme Hick. His own performances with the bat – he finished his career with more than 17,000 runs at an average of 36.49 – saw him nominated as a Wisden Cricketer of the Year in 1989.

Following his retirement in 1992 he has worked as a county and England A coach, and since 2000 has worked as Operations Manager for the England team.