Worcestershire CCC is saddened to announce the passing of recreational cricketing stalwart Derek Russell.
Derek passed away peacefully during the early hours of Thursday morning after a recent fall, he was 91 years old.
As a seven year old child in the 1930’s Derek used to sit outside the County Ground with his moms freshly made sandwiches waiting for the famous gates to open so that he could watch his heroes perform. His playing days saw him play at a few local teams including a stint at Stourbridge Cricket Club in the Birmingham League before moving more in to the administrative side for which he will be most fondly remembered by all..
In the mid 1970’s, as Captain of Worcester City Cricket Club he enthusiastically attended a meeting in an upstairs room at the Angel Pubic House in Worcester where it was agreed by a gathering of individuals from local clubs across the county that a junior cricketing competition should be introduced. He left that meeting as Secretary of the newly formed Worcestershire Cricket Association which in the mid-nineties became the Worcestershire Cricket Board and was still involved in the planning and delivery of junior cricketing programmes such as the ECB U13s and Under 15s National Knockout Competitions right up to his passing.
No-one can possibly put a price on the hours of voluntary time and service Derek has given to cricket (and in particular junior cricket which was very much close to his heart). His conscientious and often thankless endeavours over countless years ensured the platform was provided for the likes of Curtis, the D’Oliveria’s , Weston, Banks, Whitticase, Wright, McEwan, Bent, Lampitt, Tolley, Haynes, Mitchell, Davies & Cox to pave their way into County junior teams and on to successful First Class cricketing careers with Worcestershire and other counties and more importantly provided a structured framework of recreational junior club competitions which now forms the solid foundation that the Worcestershire Cricket Board organises to introduce competitive cricketing opportunities to thousands of children.
Unbeknown to many, Worcestershire Cricket today lost one of its greats. a legend, a forefather and most importantly a truly wonderful and inspirational person that in his own way in some way touched the lives of every person involved in cricket within the county and helped thousands and thousands long the way.
Funeral arrangements will follow when known.