Gloucestershire Cricket Board (GCB) projects and programmes manager Chris Munden has paid tribute to disability cricket driving force Tim Polley who passed away last month.
With his wife Carole, Tim helped to change the face of disability cricket in the county, creating more opportunities for young people with disabilities to access the game.
Tim helped set up and run both of Gloucestershire’s disability teams – the Meteors and the Javelins – having been inspired by his grandson Henry who is a keen cricketer.
Chris said: “When Tim first got involved the provision for cricket for people with disabilities was fairly minimal but through his perseverance, energy and passion the county now has multiple teams that play all over the country.Tim and Carole have been the cornerstone of disability cricket in Gloucestershire and the hours of dedication, effort and love they have put in have been overwhelming.”
In his role as team manager, Tim took care of every aspect of the county disability programme from recruiting players to running practice sessions and organising matches. He also brought in valuable sponsorship from CM Downton Ltd which helped fund the programme and ensure players had the best possible experience. Tim also organised an annual match between his players and Downton’s drivers and held end of season awards evenings to celebrate his teams’ successes. Last year’s event featured England Learning Disabilities international Jonny Gale as guest of honour (see pic) while England Physical Disabilities player Matt Askin attended this year.
Chris said “Tim was an absolute credit to the county in every possible way. He created a cricket family with a closeness and spirit amongst the players and their families that is completely unique.
“The thing that I will remember most fondly about Tim was his passion to get things done. He didn’t mince his words and you knew that if something wasn’t right, he would let you know. Heaven forbid if anyone took any liberties against his team he would defend them to the end. He cared immensely about the cause and was the kind of man you wanted on your side.”
Richard Hill, disability cricket support officer at the ECB added: “Tim was kind and considerate and was passionate about providing opportunities for people with disabilities to take part in our game.
“Tim will be greatly missed by all, but we should also be grateful for the wonderful legacy that he has left behind in Gloucestershire.”