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Founder chairman Stott unbuckles his pads

— 1 April 2012

President Jim Love, left, presents outgoing chairman Bryan Stott with a pair of cufflinks at the Yorkshire Players’ Association annual meeting at Headingley Carnegie on Sunday.

Peter Chadwick was elected to replace Jim as president when his two-year term expires in 2013. Bryan received the cufflinks in appreciation of his services as chairman since he helped to form the association seven years’ ago. His successor will be elected at the next meeting of the Management committee.

Also stepping down after six years of outstanding service on the Management Committee was Andrew Dalton, who received team photographs taken during his time in the Yorkshire First Eleven between 1969 and 1972.

Bryan said that when Yorkshire’s former Chief Executive, Stewart Regan, and the Club’s new Management Board indicated that they were prepared to back the formation of the long-awaited Players’ Association he readily accepted the invitation to do so, and the immediate response from all generations of Yorkshire cricketers had been fantastic.

It gave an early indication that the association were going to require both cricketing and real-life experience on a committee of like-minded ex-players who were ready to guide the way and make everything work.

To a certain extent association secretary Geoff Cope,  treasurer David Ryder and himself had been forced upon the members, but they had been able to draw on a huge reservoir of cricket experience in John Hampshire, Howard Cooper, Andrew Dalton, Jim Love, Neil Hartley and Anthony McGrath, all of whom had been determined to make the association work.

Andrew was retiring from the committee after more than six years. Bryan thanked him for his constructive thinking and the presentation of his well prepared paper on the advancement of the association, which had produced one of the best committee meetings for some time.

Bryan said the realisation that he had reached the limits of his capabilities as a Yorkshire player had been one of the reasons why he had retired from First Class cricket in 1963, and similarly he felt it was now the time to retire as the association’s chairman.

He hoped that they would now see young blood take over for, while still holding on to their present success, they needed to direct efforts to understanding the requirements of a younger generation. Howard Cooper remained as an elder statesman, and his experience would prove invaluable.

Bryan paid particular tribute to David Ryder for his invaluable assistance and to Geoff Cope for his fund-raising work. He highlighted the following points that had helped the association to thrive since its formation:

* A sound administrative structure, simple rules and money in the bank.
* A bit of ‘bling’ and tradition by means of the President’s Regalia.
* An annual winter lunch at Fulford and an annual summer lunch at Headingley Carnegie.
* An annual dinner at Headingley Carnegie.
* Their own tie and a shirt logo.
* The Anthony Woodhouse Library in the Cricket Centre.
* Their own Presidents’ Honours Board at the top of the steps to the Long Room.
* A great bunch of members with even more to come.
* The support and, above all, the respect of the county members.

In a final comment Bryan said that at the Jubilee Celebration dinner given by Sheffield Cricket Lovers’ Society on April 29, 2009, in recognition of Yorkshire’s Championship winning year of 1959, Richard Barber – a relative of a former captain – had quoted the following:

“They were a Superteam. A Superteam isn’t just a bunch of very good players. A Superteam is what happens when the curious magic of shared purpose brings from every player something beyond himself. When exceptional players extract brilliance from less gifted colleagues, and when those colleagues push exceptional players into greatness. Team spirit is one thing. Superteam spirit is quite another! We witnessed that in 1959.”

Bryan concluded: “Thankfully, 14 players within the squad are still alive – and 12 are members of the Players’ Association. No more needs to be said.”

A vote of thanks to Bryan was proposed by Bill Holdsworth, who said that eight years ago they did not have a society. Now they had a vibrant one, which was financially sound, and this was due in no small measure to Bryan who had put in a tremendous amount of hard work: “He started out, like me, by being computer illiterate, but he went and bought a computer to become computer literate in order to do a fantastic job.”

In accepting the office of President-elect, Peter Chadwick said it was a great honour for him to follow in the wake of so many illustrious past-presidents, and he promised to do his best in the post. Born in Pateley Bridge, Peter played in six matches for Yorkshire between 1960 and 1965, with a highest score of 59 against Middlesex at Scarborough when he added 147 for the eighth wicket with Freddie Trueman.

Peter played for Harrogate when he was 16, and it was the opinion of the late Anthony Woodhouse, the Club’s historian, that he was possibly the best League cricketer to be produced in Yorkshire since the Second World War. He captained Harrogate in 1965 and 1966, and by 1982 he had completed 20,000 runs for them and captured 624 wickets.

The result of Management Committee elections in accordance with new rules were: the re-election for one of year of secretary Geoff Cope, treasurer David Ryder and Press officer, David Warner, and the election of Howard Cooper, Neil Hartley, Jim Love and Anthony McGrath.