John Whalley is the new president of Fleetwood Cricket Club.
The 47-year-old replaces Ken Ashburn, who will continue his 50-year association with the Broadwaters club.
Local man Whalley first joined the club as a junior player and went on to open for the first team.
He said: “I’ve been a member of the club since I was six. The club’s coaching system really worked for me as I progressed to the first team and then spent most of my adult career as an opener.”
“Fleetwood is a place close to my heart. I have been fortunate enough to play cricket at first-team level cricket and play for Fleetwood Rugby Club. Cricket has also taken me as far as New Zealand and Australia.”
In another significant move at the club, John welcomes the appointment of Liam Castellas as head coach overseeing all senior and junior cricket at Broadwaters.
The new president said: “I think that is a huge step forward. Our senior players will benefit from his experience and the good work with our juniors will grow stronger.
“We have a lot of phenomenal juniors coming forward. The youth set-up is very good.”
Ashburn said: “I welcome John being named president. He has done so much for the club over the years. I remember him coming in as a junior – his nickname was Gower, after David Gower because he had a big mop of blond hair.”
Looking back on his half-century at the club, he recalled:
“Cricket has changed. Twenty20s bring in a lot of people who are used to holding a pint glass but never a cricket bat. However, T20 brings in a lot of revenue for the club.
“The club has grown immensely in the time I have been here. Years and years ago we just relied on cricket to bring money to the club. About 20 years ago we started to have christenings and now we have probably the best function room in the area.
Whalley’s rugby connections increase hopes of further links between the clubs.
He added: “We have been working with each other a lot more. It is vital for many people to be involved in sport in such a small town. If we all work together we can make Fleetwood even more magnificent.”