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 Fund, sponsored by Royal London, 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 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 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
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.
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 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.
Sadly, David passed away during the summer of 2012, after a long battle with MS. The PCA Benevolent Fund has worked with 'Teddy' and Louise over the last two years, attempting to install a specialist IT device for David's wheelchair, and providing him with ongoing physiotherapy to make him comfortable. The PCA also provided professional support for both in David’s final days.
A medium-paced left-armer, Dennis Marriott's career can be divided into two parts, on either side of the Thames. He started at Surrey where he showed promise in 1966 and 1967 when he was in and out of the first team. In 1972, he appeared at Lord's, where Mike Brearley, his captain, described him as, "A talented and delightful part-time bowler, who bowled somewhat in the Derek Underwood mould.”
At the age of 72, Dennis’ health had been deteriorated rapidly after being diagnosed with diabetes, resulting in a partial leg amputation. The operation confined Dennis to a wheelchair, and meant that accessing any rooms upstairs and looking after himself proved impossible.
The Benevolent Fund has been able to give significant support to Dennis, by converting a downstairs room into an easily accessible in shower/wet room, and modifying doorways out onto the garden, allowing him to once again be in control of his life on a day-to-day basis.
An elegant batsman, Tom Graveney was among the leading players of his generation.
Graveney was a regular Test cricketer throughout the 1950s and his batting was dominated by strong front foot strokes, but he had enough technique against the quick bowlers to open the England batting regularly in the early part of his career.
In 1964 he scored his hundredth 100 (the first player to do so since the Second World War) and in all, scored 47,793 runs, as well as being a useful wrist spinner.
Tom and his wife Jackie, now both post 70, were finding it increasingly difficult to get around, with climbing the stairs at home becoming a major problem. The Benevolent Fund helped by paying for a stairlift, taking the stress and strain out of getting around their home.