Former Worcestershire seamer Brian Brain has donated medals from his long playing career to the Professional Cricketers’ Association’s 50th Anniversary Legacy Appeal as a thank you for the help he received from the PCA Benevolent Fund earlier this year.

Brain, who also played for Gloucestershire, got in touch with the PCA in April after he suffered a hernia and was told that he faced a lengthy wait for an operation through the National Health Service.

Thanks to the PCA Benevolent Fund, which is generously supported by Royal London, Brain was able to see a consultant within two weeks and underwent surgery 10 days later.

Worcester-based Brain, 75, made a full recovery and has now generously donated five medals, including the one he won for winning the John Player League with Worcestershire in 1971, to the PCA 50th Anniversary Legacy Appeal.

Brain took 824 first-class and 290 List A wickets in a career that began in 1959 and ended in 1981.

The medals, currently on display in the Graeme Hick Pavilion at Worcestershire’s New Road headquarters, will be among the items that will be auctioned online throughout the PCA’s Golden Jubilee in 2017.

“I’ve told Worcestershire that I would like to give my medals to the PCA for this auction as a gesture of thanks for what the Benevolent Fund has done for me,” Brain said.

“Back in April I’d had pains in my groin area and not put it down to anything in particular.

“One day my wife and I were out in Stow in the Wold and I put my hand in my pocket and there was this big lump in my groin.

“I managed to gently press it back in and went to see my GP the next day. He confirmed it was a hernia and referred me to a specialist in Worcester but he warned that it would take some time before I got to see him and quite some time after that for anything to be done.

“The hernia was classed as non-urgent because it was a small one but my GP said that they are dangerous because they can strangulate. If that happens it becomes life-threatening and then you are straight into A&E.

“I had a letter about three weeks later saying I had been put on a list for an initial appointment with the consultant and I would then be put on another list for an operation.

“I had read in the PCA’s ‘Beyond The Boundaries’ magazine about Jack Bond and a couple of other players who had been helped by the Benevolent Fund and thought I would get in touch.

“I called Jason Ratcliffe, the PCA Assistant Chief Executive, and within two hours I had been given the go- ahead to make an appointment which I couldn’t believe.

“I haven’t played for 35 years, I haven’t stayed close to the game but suddenly people are prepared to do this for me which I’m still astonished by.

“I saw the same consultant that I would have seen through the NHS within two weeks and within another ten days I had had the operation done and I have not a problem since. It’s magnificent. If I hadn’t gone through the Benevolent Fund I might not even have seen the consultant yet.”

Brain’s medals are among the early items that have been donated by past and present players to the PCA 50th Anniversary Legacy Appeal which aims to raise £250,000 for the PCA Benevolent Fund to mark the Golden Jubilee of the formation of the Association.

Although the online auction will not go live until January the PCA is already collecting items of memorabilia in readiness for the start of 2017, which can be made to Ali Prosser at aprosser@thepca.co.uk, PCA, RES Wyatt Stand, Edgbaston Stadium, Birmingham, B5 7QU

Direct pledges can also be made on our website: http://www.thepca.co.uk/benevolent-fund-donations.html

For more information about the PCA 50th Anniversary Legacy Appeal: http://www.thepca.co.uk/8024.html