Sussex County Cricket Club’s 70-plus captain Hugh Milner has been honoured for his contribution to the sport.
Milner, along with seven others, has been appointed a vice-president at Sussex.
The 74-year-old cricket stalwart from Littlehampton secured his honour for coaching and developing cricket for older players.
He has been a member and player at Littlehampton since November, 1966, and admitted it was not an award he was expecting but that he is honoured.
He said: “It’s absolutely marvellous to be recognised with this award.
“I have been involved in sport administration since I was 20 and this is a great honour for myself.
“I’m captain of the over-70 side at Sussex and at times it can be tricky getting the players week-in, week-out but we get there in the end.
“I’m still a little shocked but it’s something I am very proud of receiving.”
Milner has been manager of the Sussex 50-plus, 60-plus and 70-plus Championship cricket teams since 1993 and was presented a certificate of appreciation for outstanding services to cricket by the ECB NatWest Oscas in 2008 and 2014.
Milner’s attention now turns to the upcoming 70-plus County Championship campaign. Sussex have won the competition six times in the last seven seasons and in the year they did not win the title, Worcestershire pipped them to the title by a point.
The new Sussex vice-president is looking ahead to the new season with his side aiming to defend the title.
He said: “We have 13 teams in the over-70 age group and it’s great to have so many teams involved. Out on the pitch, some words can be exchanged but once the game is over everyone goes to the bar and has a great time.”
As well as Milner, Matt Prior, Mark Robinson, Michael Yardy, Terence Burton, Peter Butter, Derek Linford and Hugh Thomas all became Sussex vice-presidents.
Sussex chairman Jim May said: “With the merger of the county club and the cricket board to form the new organisation of Sussex Cricket in November 2015, it is highly appropriate that we recognise these individuals, as they have all played exceptional roles in the development of Sussex Cricket.”
Milner gained his honour for his service, coaching and developing cricket for older players. But he admitted not a lot of coaching goes into the over-70 side.
He added: “I think when you get to the age that all of us are in the team, then there is not a lot we can be taught.
“Most have been involved in the game for a number of years and just play for fun now. It’s just great to be involved and captain of this Sussex over-70 side.”
Milner also skippered England’s 70-plus side to an Ashes triumph in Australia last year. He felt that was one of his biggest achievements in cricket and said: “To captain your country at any level is great, but to do it now is even better. We went to Australia in October last year and managed to regain the Ashes.
“It’s great to still be involved in the game and to skipper Sussex and England’s over-70 sides.”
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