For a team that has been going now for close on 30 years, Walsall Health Cricket Club has had remarkably few skippers.
Our first skipper was Steve Fewtrehill, a small, dogged opening bat and occasional bowler. Steve became skipper mainly due to the fact he’d regularly played cricket before, something that couldn’t be said for many in the team in those days (unbelievably, Gary Reeves, who would become one of the stalwarts of the club with, bat, ball and behind the stumps, had never played before he joined The Elf).
Steve was succeeded by Steve Fell who benefitted not only from the players now having more experience but also from still having Steve Fewtrehall around for guidance and advice, most of which he would usually ignore.
When Steve eventually stood down Martin Liggins took the reins. Martin is a club legend for many, many reasons as other parts of this site will attest. What no one could deny is that he had an excellent cricketing brain, was a very good off-spin bowler and could have papped for England.
Martin was followed by Tim Oliver (who could have papped for Wales). An excellent all-rounder who batted once the weaker bowlers were on and bowled when the lower order batsmen were in. Skippers prerogative, one supposes.
After a number of successful years under Tim, the club decided that youth should be given a chance and Richard Fell took the reins. Rich learnt all his cricketing skills by watching his father and ignoring everything he did. Without doubt this made him a much better cricketer.
Under his stewardship the team continued to progress and with many of the old guard gradually retiring Rich helped bring a new team together that still had the team spirit that has existed in the club since its inception.
Finally, in 2013 Dave Preece was elected to captain when Rich felt he wouldn’t be able to commit so much time to cricket due to his new family.
There can’t be much dispute in saying that Dave has taken to the role well and under his stewardship the team continues to flourish.