A PONTELAND sporting stalwart has been honoured with a prestigious community accolade.
Andrew Morgan, Chairman of Ponteland Cricket Club, first joined at the age of 14 and has played a key role in developing what it has to offer.
He played for junior teams and then made his first team debut at the age of 17. He was part of this team for more than 30 years and now plays for the second team captained by his son, Chris.
Mr Morgan has been involved in securing funds for new nets and equipment in recent years and his voluntary duties include coaching young players – there are now about 100 members in the junior section.
To recognise his achievements, he was recently presented with the Meritorious Service Award by Ponteland Mayor Peter Cowey.
The 54-year-old said: “I was absolutely delighted to receive this award, which came as a complete surprise. All the accolades we receive help to raise awareness of the role the cricket club plays in the community.
“We’re known for being a very good family club and I get a tremendous amount of enjoyment out of what I do, particularly when I see players develop through the age groups and become key players in our senior teams.
“The junior section is thriving and we also put a big emphasis on enjoyment and the social side of the game.
“We’ve worked hard to improve our facilities in the last few years and we have close links with the football and rugby clubs to make sure there are plenty of sporting opportunities for Ponteland residents.”
Mr Morgan, who works as a solicitor, has also received a Northumberland NatWest Outstanding Service to Cricket Award for his contribution to the sport, which he collected at Lords. He has been chairman of the Northumberland and Tyneside League.
He praised all the other volunteers at Ponteland Cricket Club for giving a huge amount of time and effort.
His playing career has included a number of highlights. In 1991, over three consecutive games, he and Brett Elliott registered partnerships of 214 not out, 111 not out and 63 – a total of 388 runs before either player was dismissed. In 2005, he became the first Ponteland player to score 10,000 league runs.
Before making the presentation, Coun Cowey said: “For many years Andrew has been the town council’s legal guide and mentor on many aspects of our work.
“However, this award is not made for those services, grateful as we are for them, but for his involvement with Ponteland Cricket Club.
“In particular, we are honouring him for his dedication in coaching juniors over many years.
“It is no small measure of the man that despite the demands of his professional life, he has found time to carry out this work.
“We, as well as the community, are grateful to Andrew and others of the same mindset who have willingly given their time voluntarily to work with youngsters.”