who we've helped

The Benevolent Fund has helped many players over the years with a variety of different issues, some of which have been confidential and sensitive cases. 

Below is just a handful of the people we have proudly provided assistance to...

 


 

Roseberry makes progress with PCA Benevolent Fund Support

 

Andrew Roseberry, the former Leicestershire and Glamorgan batsman, has taken his first steps since he underwent surgery to remove a lesion from his spine thanks to the support of the PCA Benevolent Fund.

Roseberry, 44, was told that he might not walk again before he had a nine hour operation in December 2014 but after 13 weeks in hospital and a year of recuperation he is now able to walk short distances with the aid of two sticks.

The PCA Benevolent Fund, sponsored by Royal London, has funded additional physiotherapy to help Roseberry’s recovery.

Roseberry is the latest former cricketer to receive support from the Benevolent Fund which assists players and their dependants who might be in need of a helping hand with medical advice, a much-needed operation or those who require specialist advice, care or assistance.

“The Benevolent Fund have been absolutely fantastic. One of the major helps has been the extra physiotherapy they have provided,” Roseberry said.

“I go up to Sunderland twice a week through the NHS but the Benevolent Fund have helped out for extra physio and I am seeing a neurology specialist at Newcastle who has been fantastic. I see him once a week and he has seen massive improvements each time I have been.

“He works with the physios at the hospital and he teaches them so they are working together on my progress which is brilliant.

“It’s nice to know that, in the Benevolent Fund, you have got someone there just a phone call away that will pretty much do anything for you.”

Roseberry was initially treated for a knee problem when he suffered discomfort working as manager of the family-owned events centre in Durham and he underwent surgery to remove cartilage and ligament.

But the problem persisted and he twice collapsed at home while Alison, his partner for 10 years, was out at work.

He returned to hospital for further tests including a brain scan but was told that nothing untoward had been discovered. It was only when Roseberry had an MRI scan on his back that the lesion, which impinged on his spine and affected his nerve endings, was discovered.

“The surgeon said it was like a compression. The problem was that usually in these cases they would have realised it was a lesion a week or two but in my case they hadn’t so it could have been there for months and months. That was the major concern,” Roseberry said.

“When they said it was a lesion my first thought was: cancer. Everything goes through your mind and it took a few days for everything to sink in.

“Before I had the operation the surgeon said that it wasn’t guaranteed that I would ever be able to walk. I had to sign a form at the hospital before the operation to cover that.”

The operation was performed through the front of Roseberry’s neck and he was then encased in a body cast to stabilise the spine before the long road to recovery began.

Roseberry initially required visits from carers three times a day for two months after he left hospital and still relies on Alison to help him to perform basic tasks around the house. 

“She has been brilliant. Without her I wouldn’t have been able to cope,” Roseberrysaid. “I can make a coffee or a sandwich but I can’t carry it to the table so I always near someone here.

“Being housebound has been really hard. When you are used to getting up early going to work, playing cricket or having an active lifestyle it is difficult to adjust. It has got me down at times but I have tried to battle through it.”

Although Roseberry has taken his first tentative steps on the road to recover there is still a long way to go.

“I saw the surgeon recently and he said that they can’t really put dates on it but he seemed to think another year. But that is just to try and get me walking without crutches. That is my biggest aim to walk without any help,” he said.

“I spoken to a number of people who have had problems with their spinal cord and a lot of them are in wheelchairs.

“I’ve still got some way to go but the physiotherapy is helping me and having the support of the PCA Benevolent Fund has been brilliant.”

 


 

 

PCA BENEVOLENT FUND HELPS JAMIE HOOD 


Jamie Hood, the former Yorkshire all-rounder, is to take delivery of a specially-adapted vehicle which will increase his mobility thanks to the Professional Cricketers’ Benevolent Fund, sponsored by Royal London.

Hood, now 34, was about to start his third season on Yorkshire’s staff when he broke his neck in a car accident in Cape Town early in 1998.

The accident, which happened when a tyre blew out at low speed, left Hood with no mobility below his neck and wheelchair-bound ever since.

Despite his injuries, Hood remains actively involved in cricket as a coach at his local club Redcar and as a spectator at Yorkshire matches at Headingley and Scarborough.

The specially-adapted vehicle is similar to the one that the PCA Benevolent Fund provided for Winston Davis, the former West Indies, Glamorgan and Northamptonshire fast bowler, and will enable Hood to be driven more easily by his carers.

“It’s unbelievable for me. I am the type of person who never likes to stay in. I like to be always out doing things, living life to the full,” Hood said.

“Without a vehicle I would be stuffed. I still like to watch local cricket every Saturday. My carers take me over to Headingley and Scarborough to watch Yorkshire once or twice a season to catch up with old friends and old team-mates.

“Without the vehicle I wouldn’t be able to go out. With this vehicle I can drive my wheelchair straight into the back and away we go.”

Hood will be driven to the Kia Oval in the new vehicle on Saturday August 22 for Cricket United Day on the third day of the fifth Ashes Test.

Cricket United Day brings together the PCA Benevolent Fund with two more cricket charities, Lord’s Taverners and Chance to Shine, for a joint fund-raising appeal.

Hood has already been filmed by Sky Sports for a feature that will be screened during the Test match highlighting the work of the PCA Benevolent Fund, which is sponsored by Royal London.

“The PCA have been brilliant. They have bought me equipment for physiotherapy that helps keep my joints and posture in a good position,” he said

“They have also paid for five holidays abroad which I would not be able to have without their support. They have been absolutely fantastic.”

Hood’s accident happened at the start of the year which he hoped would be his breakthrough into Yorkshire’s first team having toured South Africa with the senior squad in 1995.

“It was definitely going to be a breakthrough season for sure. I had been on tour with the first team so I wasn’t too far away,” he said.

“I was overseas professional for a club in Cape Town. It was my fifth season with them. I had been out for a meal with friends and I was driving home through the middle of Cape Town.

“It was a freak accident because I was going no more than 30mph and I think there was a blow out of a tyre on the car which slid into a barrier.

“When I locked my arms out straight the impact from hitting the crash barrier broke my neck. The break was high up in my neck so it left me paralysed from the neck down.“It was just a freak. I didn’t have any marks on me or bruises or cuts. It was just the impact on my neck that broke it. It was like whiplash.

“I knew it was serious straight away because I couldn’t move but I accepted it from day one. I still live my life to the full and do as much as I can. I’m very positive. I don’t let it get to me.”

Hood is the latest former professional cricketer to benefit from the support of the PCA Benevolent Fund.

The Benevolent Fund is part of the PCA’s commitment to helping current and former players and their dependants in times of hardship and upheaval or to readjust to the world beyond cricket.

The Fund has taken a proactive approach to helping educate past and present players on all health and well-being issues.

The Fund also supports players and their dependants who might be in need of a helping hand with medical advice, operations and specialist advice and care.

Cricket United was created in 2013 and has already raised more than £100,000 in two years.

By encouraging cricket fans to wear blue on the Saturday of the Test at the Kia Oval blue the aim of Cricket United Day is to raise awareness of the three cricket charities and improve lives through cricket.


 

ALAN WASSELL

 

Alan Wassell, the former Hampshire slow left-armer, is making good progress after suffering a debilitating stroke last year,  thanks to help from the Professional Cricketers’ Association Benevolent Fund.

Wassell, 75, lost his speech and was confined to a wheelchair after he suffered the stroke in January 2014 but he has now regained some of his mobility after having regular physiotherapy sessions that were funded by the PCA Benevolent Fund, which is sponsored by Royal London.

Peter Haslop, another former Hampshire player, suggested that Wassell approach the PCA for help and the Benevolent Fund put him in touch with Hobbs Rehabilitation, which are based near his home in Fareham.

“The physio that Alan has been working with has done wonders for him,” said Wassell’s wife Joan.

“He’s now walking with a stick and he is able to walk round the block. He’s had regular sessions with the physio coming to the house. She has been a great help to him and he has got a lot of faith in her.”

Wassell, who played for Hampshire from 1957 to 1966, is an active member of the PCA and had attended one of the Association’s regular Past Player Days.

“Alan knows all about the PCA and we went up to one of their Past Player Days at Arundel a couple of years ago which we thoroughly enjoyed,” Joan said.

“It was Peter Haslop who suggested to Alan that he got in touch with the PCA to see if they could help him because he knew other people in different circumstances who had been helped by the Benevolent Fund.

“We got in touch and they said they were very willing to assist us and they have been a great help and support to us.”

Wassell hopes to complete his rehabilitation and has set himself the target of being able to play golf once again.

“That is his aim. At the moment he has a bit of a problem with his shoulder which restricts his swing but he has been up to the range a few times,” Joan said.

“One of his grand-daughters gave him a birthday present where he can go to a range where they have putting and a meal is included so he’s looking forward to doing that.”

The Benevolent Fundsponsored by Royal Londonis part of the PCA’s commitment to helping current and former players and their dependants in times of hardship and upheaval or to readjust to the world beyond the game.

The Fund also supports players and their dependants who might be in need of a helping hand with medical advice, a much-needed operation or those who require specialist advice, care or assistance.


More information please contact Jason Ratcliffe 07768 558050
 


 

 


 

JACK BOND

 

Jack Bond captained Lancashire to three Gillette Cups and two Sunday League titles during his five years as Lancashire captain and re-joined them as manager after a season with Nottinghamshire in 1974. He scored more than 12,000 runs in 362 first-class matches at an average of 25.90 – and 698 runs in 99 List A appearances. Bond was on the first-class umpires’ panel from 1988 to 1997 and has since retained a close involvement with Lancashire, his native county, working three days a week as a member of Matt Merchant’s ground staff.  When he attended the inaugural meeting of the PCA at Edgbaston in 1967, Bond could not have envisaged that he would one day benefit from the organisation’s members’ services.


Bond, 82, damaged his left hip when he fell in the shower and approached the PCA for assistance after he became frustrated at a long delay for treatment on the National Health Service and was in intolerable pain. The PCA Benevolent Fund funded an emergency hip operation for Bond at Manchester’s Spire Hospital.

He spent Christmas in hospital after the three hour operation but he was discharged in time to celebrate New Year at home where he is now recuperating. He hopes to return to Old Trafford when he has fully recovered from his operation.


 

Winston Davis

 

Back in 1997 Winston Davis was helping clear land for a new church in his native Caribbean when his life was turned upside down. Soon after his retirement from cricket the West Indian was paralysed from the chest down when a branch fell on him. When flown to England for treatment it was revealed to Winston that he would never walk again and remain in a wheelchair for the rest of his life.

Much of the manner in which the former right-arm seamer has rebuilt his life is down to his own determination, but he is nevertheless ‘eternally grateful’ for the ongoing help afforded him by the PCA Benevolent Fund when he has needed it. A grant from the fund first paid for a specially adapted computer that helps him to stay in contact with family back home. More recently, money raised from the Big Bike Ride 2013 meant that Winston received a new motor vehicle which allows him to stay mobile and venture away from his home in Worcestershire.

 


 

DARREN COUSINS


During his cricketing career, Darren was a whole-hearted, fast-bowler, who excelled in one- day matches, returning impressive results. Unfortunately, his career, spanning 1993 to 2002, was plagued by injuries despite playing 50 first-class matches and 95 one-day games.

Like so many cricketers, his playing days finished before he was ready, and despite attempts to get fit through multiple operations, his professional days ended.

After struggling to come to terms with the loss of cricket in his life, Darren has had to overcome multiple challenges. The Benevolent Fund has given continuous support to Darren, particularly after he tried to take his own life in March 2011. His life is very much on track, with a new fulfilling job, a new house and a lovely daughter to dote on.

 


 

DAVID THOMAS

 

David Thomas was a left-arm all-rounder who flirted with an England place and helped Surrey to the 1982 NatWest Trophy. Born in Warwickshire, but a Surrey player from his debut in 1977 to 1987,

Thomas was a hard-hitting lower-order batsman, and a left-arm bowler capable of sharp pace and swing.

He claimed 57 first-class wickets in 1983 and 60 in 1984, but despite being named in England Test squads, he never made it into the final 11. He was 12th man for the 1983 Trent Bridge Test against New Zealand, and left Surrey for Gloucestershire at the end of 1987.

It was there, after seeking treatment for the recurrence of a groin injury, that he was diagnosed with the Multiple Sclerosis that plagued him for the rest of his life, and forced his retirement from the professional game aged 29.


The PCA Benevolent Fund worked with 'Teddy' and Louise over two years, attempting to install a specialist IT device for David's wheelchair, and provided him with ongoing physiotherapy to make him comfortable. The PCA also provided professional support for both in David’s final days. Sadly, David passed away during the summer of 2012, after a long battle with MS.

 


 

GARY SCOTT

 

Gary Scott made his Durham debut in 2001 aged 17, becoming Durham's youngest ever first-class player. His chances in the first team were few and far between, largely down to ongoing shoulder injuries. After 17 championships, 14 one-day matches and 15 t20 matches, Gary did not feature in any form of the game, after Durham’s successful campaign of 2007. 


Gary’s repetitive shoulder injury, which prevented him from bowling, finally signalled the end of a county career. Despite his efforts to get back to full fitness, it wasn’t possible. However, he continued as a semi-pro, playing and coaching at local club level until the recurring shoulder problem resurfaced in 2011. After his fifth operation and the loss of his job whilst in the
recovery stage, the Benevolent Fund was able to help with ongoing rehabilitation costs and financial support. Due to their support, Gary regained full fitness and helped Chester-le-Street CC to the national t20 finals at Edgbaston during the summer of 2012.

 


 

Josh Mierkalns

 

Former Nottinghamshire batsman Josh Mierkalns admits the PCA Benevolent Fund proved a lifeline as he recovered from major surgery. The 24-year-old's life was at risk when his colon was removed in July 08 after being rushed to hospital as result of a severe intestinal illness. While he is now well down the road to recovery, he requires at least one more operation before he can return to work or cricket. " I wasn't really aware of the PCA Benevolent Fund at all, so to be told that I was not only still a member of the PCA, but also had some financial assistance available was a fantastic boost."


 


 


Dominic Hewson

 

Dominic HewsonAfter battling with a debilitating heart problem since he was a teenager, Dominic Hewson underwent a complex operation which was paid for by the PCA Benevolent Fund. The 34-year-old suffers from persistent atrial fibrillation, a condition that can make his heart flip suddenly from normal rhythm to a very fast and erratic heart beat. Dominic said, "I was able, with the PCA help, to go ahead with the operation and now I'm problem free. I think the PCA is fantastic , I am un-insurable, its changed my life and been a brilliant help".


 


 

Owen Parkin

 

Owen ParkinEx-Glamorgan cricketer Owen Parkin's daughter Rosie is another who has been helped by the PCA Benevolent Fund. Rosie was born with only one lung and her heart on the wrong side, has spent years in and out of hospitals and has undergone numerous operations. She spent a lot of time on a ventilator and the PCA Benevolent Fund were able to support Rosie by providing portable equipment, which allowed her to spend time at home and ultimately helped to speed up her recovery. Now 5 years old, Rosie's progress has been remarkable and she has not been back in hospital for over 6 months.