1991 County Cham­pi­ons

The Cricket Paper - - FEATURE - By Neil Fissler

where are they now?

Gra­ham Gooch might have picked up the fifth of six County Cham­pi­onship suc­cesses for Es­sex in 13 years from the Duke of Ed­in­burgh but the power be­hind the throne in 1991 was Neil Foster.

Gooch, who scored 996 Cham­pi­onship runs, missed half of his county’s matches while on Eng­land duty, leav­ing Foster to cover in his ab­sence.

The for­mer Eng­land pace­man rev­elled in the role, tak­ing 91 Cham­pi­onship wick­ets as Es­sex fin­ished 13 points clear of run­ners-up War­wick­shire.

Es­sex’s left-arm spin­ner John Childs said: “Gooch and Pringle were away quite a lot of the time and Neil Foster cap­tained the ma­jor­ity of the sea­son. Some­times peo­ple for­get what a class act he was.

“Had it not have been for the hor­ren­dous amount of in­juries, he had to deal with and which fi­nally pushed him out of the game, he would have played a lot more for Eng­land.

“If you look at his record he took nearly 1,000 wick­ets in a re­ally short pe­riod of time. Keith Fletcher was around to help him as a cap­tain and what’s also for­got­ten is that he was a use­ful bat as well. He could have been classed as an all-rounder.

“With Pringle away he backed him­self to be the strike bowler and took it upon him­self to ei­ther keep con­trol or take wick­ets.”

Childs pro­vided valu­able sup­port to his stand-in cap­tain with 58 wick­ets.The spin­ner, who won two Eng­land caps, was brought to Es­sex af­ter his re­lease by Gloucestershire and con­tin­ued to build on the suc­cess Es­sex had en­joyed un­der Keith Fletcher.

Childs added: “I had ten years with Gloucestershire and thought that my time was up but Ray East had re­tired a bit ear­lier than Es­sex thought he would and they felt that they didn’t have any­body of ex­pe­ri­ence.

“I had bowled rea­son­ably well against Es­sex dur­ing my time with Gloucestershire and they of­fered me a life­line. I was lucky to be part of a very suc­cess­ful team dur­ing the late Eight­ies and early Nineties.

“Dur­ing my time with Gloucestershire we came close to win­ning the Cham­pi­onship and had some suc­cess in the one-day com­pe­ti­tions but we didn’t have the habit of win­ning on a reg­u­lar ba­sis.

“Then when I moved to Es­sex I won three Cham­pi­onships so it was a very suc­cess­ful team to be part of.”

BACK ROW (LEFT-RIGHT): Mike Garn­ham: Wick­et­keeper. Lives in Hal­stead, Es­sex and for the last 14 years has been work­ing as an ar­chi­tect in ru­ral north Es­sex. Nasser Hus­sain: Bats­man who cap­tained Eng­land. Joined the Sky Sports com­men­tary team as soon as he re­tired from cricket in 2004. Keith But­ler: Bats­man who is be­lieved to be liv­ing and work­ing in the Lon­don area.

Jon Lewis: Bats­man and oc­ca­sional bowler. Went on to coach Durham.

Rob Rollins: Wick­et­keeper. He is now cen­tre man­ager at the An­gel Rayn­ham Chil­dren’s Cen­tre in En­field, North Lon­don. His brother Adrian was also a pro­fes­sional crick­eter with Derbyshire and Northants.

Alex Richards: Bats­man who is the di­rec­tor of three fam­ily com­pa­nies in the tim­ber and wood pan­elling in­dus­try.

Craig Miller: All-rounder who is

liv­ing and work­ing in his na­tive Es­sex.

Nadeem Shahid: Bats­man who is now based in Dur­ban, South Africa, where he was co-founder of ThisIsMe and is also a prop­erty in­vestor. Giles Ec­cle­stone: All-rounder who is sales di­rec­tor at Bury St Ed­munds-based Ocean Tele­com, a com­pany that he helped found in 2002. Adam Sey­mour: Bats­man, who is now a self-em­ployed coach and works in ground main­te­nance while also train­ing to be an um­pire. MID­DLE ROW: Salim Ma­lik: Pak­istan Test bats­man, was handed a life­time ban for match fix­ing and is now a busi­ness­man in La­hore.

John Stephen­son: Eng­land all­rounder who, since 2004, has been the head of cricket for the MCC at Lord’s.

Peter Such: Eng­land off­spin­ner, who started his own coach­ing com­pany and since 2012 has been the Eng­land and Wales Cricket Board’s na­tional spin coach.

Mark Ilott: Eng­land left-arm pace­man who af­ter work­ing in sales and as a brand man­ager, is mas­ter in charge of cricket and foot­ball at St Al­bans School.

David Bo­den: Seamer who has re­turned his na­tive Stafford­shire, liv­ing in New-cas­tle-un­der-Lyme where he helps run the fam­ily roof­ing busi­ness.

Steve Andrew: Fast bowler who be­came a char­tered sur­veyor and is cur­rently a con­sul­tant at De Vil­liers Char­tered Sur­vey­ors where he was pre­vi­ously man­ag­ing di­rec­tor.

Alas­tair Fraser: Pace­man who is the younger brother of An­gus. He is head of foot­ball at St Paul’s School, Lon­don, where he also coaches cricket.

Guy Lovell: Spin­ner, who lives in Old­ham where he runs his own plumb­ing and heat­ing busi­ness.

Nick Knight: Eng­land bats­man whose mid­dle name is Verity in hon­our of great Eng­land lef­t­arm spin­ner, Hed­ley. Is now a com­men­ta­tor for Sky Sports.

Ray Cole: Physio to Colch­ester United for many years and later be­came a gov­er­nor of North Es­sex Part­ner­ship NHS Foun­da­tion Trust.


Keith Fletcher: Eng­land bats­man who went on to coach his coun­try. Af­ter that role he re­turned to Es­sex un­til step­ping down in 2001. Is now re­tired and liv­ing in New­mar­ket.

John Childs: Spin­ner who, at 41, was Eng­land’s old­est debu­tant. Ran the Es­sex academy for many years and took semi re­tire­ment in Septem­ber 2016.

Paul Prichard: For­mer Es­sex cap­tain is head of cricket at Paragon Man­age­ment and a brand am­bas­sador for Wood­land Group, Pret­tys So­lic­i­tors and Worm­s­ley Cricket.

Derek Pringle: Eng­land seamer went into the me­dia for The

In­de­pen­dent and Daily Tele­graph. Now a free­lance jour­nal­ist and val­ued con­trib­u­tor to The Cricket Pa­per. Was Oman’s bowl­ing coach for the WT20 qual­i­fiers. Gra­ham Gooch: Eng­land open­ing bats­man and cap­tain. Worked in the me­dia be­fore be­com­ing an Eng­land se­lec­tor and bat­ting coach. Also coached at Es­sex.

David East: Wick­et­keeper. Went into sales, re­turn­ing to Es­sex as com­mer­cial man­ager and then CEO. Now in Abu Dhabi as CEO at Emi­rates Cricket Board.

Neil Foster: Eng­land fast bowler. Qual­i­fied as a char­tered phys­io­ther­a­pist and now runs his own prac­tice from near his base in East Bergholt.

Don To­p­ley: A seamer whose son Reece plays for Eng­land. Has coached and spent 23 years as head of sports devel­op­ment at Royal Hos­pi­tal School, Ip­swich.

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