Centurion Neil McCorkell has already raised his bat to the pavilion – and now he’s passed on his thanks to Hampshire fans.
The club’s former wicket-keeper, who was born and raised in Portsmouth, turned 100 last month and his milestone was the subject of a spontaneous round of applause from the current members at the club’s AGM on the eve of the new season.
On top of that, he was also delighted to see a tribute to him featured in The News.
And McCorkell, who now lives near Durban in South Africa, has sent across his best wishes to everyone at the Ageas Bowl after seeing his birthday remembered.
McCorkell wrote: ‘Seeing the article brought back many happy memories of my time with Hampshire and living in Portsmouth all those years ago.
‘I’m surprised and delighted that there are still some cricket fans out there with such long memories!
‘But I would like to pass on my thanks for their congratulations and kind thoughts. I would also like to send my best wishes to everyone at the club and wish them all a successful season.’
Granddaughter Lauren and her husband Neil handed over a copy of The News’ article to McCorkell’s delight at a family gathering in South Africa.
But McCorkell, who attended Portsmouth Town School and is the last state-educated Portsmouth boy to earn a Hampshire county cap, is known as a modest man and celebrated his birthday in typically under-stated fashion, simply indulging in a celebratory chocolate sundae at his local ice cream parlour.
His son Raymond said: ‘He’s a great man. He did a lot in cricket and has done a lot in his life. He’s a wonderful person.
‘It’s lovely that he is still fondly remembered and he was thrilled to see the article about him.
‘He’s not the kind of guy who likes much of a fuss made. He doesn’t brag about what he’s done and while he will always praise others, he will never take a lot of praise himself.’