Stephen Taylor has been elected Worcestershire County Cricket Club’s new chairman and is determined to build on the "massive solid platform" already in place at New Road and help the club develop and take even bigger strides forward on and off the field.
Former Great Britain and England hockey international Taylor, a Worcestershire box-holder and supporter since the Ian Botham era, has succeeded Martyn Price whose eight year reign – the maximum term anyone can serve as chairman – has come to an end.
Fifty-four-year-old Taylor, who played club cricket for his native Martley, has been a Worcestershire board member for the past four years and is full of pride at taking on his new role at the county.
Former Worcestershire captain and England opening batsman Tim Curtis has been elected the new vice-chairman.
Taylor is a successful businessman and succeeded his father as owner of haulage firm Taylors of Martley Logistics before selling the business four years ago. He is now owner and Executive Director of Taylors Properties Limited.
He also distinguished himself as a goalkeeper at hockey, winning more than 50 GB and England caps and a European Cup silver medal with England in 1997 in a career spanning more than 15 years.
However now Taylor says he has the time to devote to Worcestershire and is looking forward to "commercially maximising" the club's potential and working closely with local businesses, members and spectators and getting them involved at New Road.
Taylor said: "I'm very proud to be chairman of this great club. I've lived in Worcestershire all my life, done all my business cWorcestershire so the area means a massive amount to me.
"I played cricket for the MCC – which is Martley Cricket Club so don't get confused there! – although my main sport was hockey where I became an international player.
"But I've always loved watching cricket. Our local business, which was Taylors of Martley Logistics, had a box at New Road and I've been watching cricket here for over 25 years.
"I've seen a lot of great games here from the old days of the Ian Botham era to now.
"I've been on the board, this is my fourth year, and I've got to know a lot more of how the club works from inside now. The nice thing now is I've got some time to commit to the cricket club."
Taylor added: "I'll be leaving the cricket to the cricket experts and there are plenty of those here at the club and with Tim Curtis taking on the vice-chairman’s role there will be a massive amount of cricket knowledge on the Board.
"The club has now got a solid platform to develop forward, one on the cricket side which is brilliant, and two as a business.
"We want to offer more and more commercial activities at the club, not just in the cricket season but also outside of that, and to commercially maximise what we can make out of the facilities in order to re-invest wisely in cricket and facilities going forward.
"I'm very keen to get the support of the members and the local businesses in Worcestershire, for them to get involved with the club."
Taylor hopes commercial success and growth will help with the ultimate aim of providing more funds for Director of Cricket Steve Rhodes to develop the playing side.
He said: "We want to be able to spend more money on cricket for the future.
"The ultimate aim is to have a first class cricket team that is established in Division One (of the County Championship). It would be great to win a trophy of some sort in the near future.
"I know Steve (Rhodes) well from his playing days and more recently I've met him and seen him perform as the Director of Cricket and I've been very impressed. I think there is a really good culture at the club and a solid base to work from as the 2014 season has shown.
"The Academy route has been very successful and I don't see any reason why we should stop developing our own players. The more the merrier and dovetailed with the right overseas players should all stand us in good stead for the future."
Taylor is also keen to pay tribute to his predecessor Martyn "Percy" Price.
He said: "To be able to take on the role now at such a positive time, there is a thank you to Percy leaving the club how it is. To be involved now, is a great chance.
"Percy came in at a difficult time, in eight years he's been through a lot, but what a great situation to leave the club in, new development in The View, promotion to Division One – and I'm pleased for him."