South African was first Players’ Player of the Year in 1970.

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2019 sees the 50th anniversary of the annual NatWest PCA Awards. To mark the occasion, the PCA has been speaking to notable previous recipients of the main awards, including Mike Procter, who shared the first PCA Players’ Player of the Year with Jack Bond in 1970.

The inaugural awards were handed out three years after the formation of the players’ association in 1967. Procter, who represented Gloucestershire for 16 years, was the first man to receive the Reg Hayter Cup for the PCA Players’ Player of the Year along with Bond, who is credited as one of the founding fathers of the PCA and sadly passed away earlier this year.

The Reg Hayter Cup is the most coveted individual award in the game today, and is the only major award that is voted for by the players themselves. Since Procter’s victory 49 years ago, a number of global stars have gone on to pick up the award, including Sir Richard Hadlee, Graham Gooch, Brian Lara and Andrew Flintoff.

On Wednesday 2 October, we will find out who will follow in the footsteps of last year’s winner Joe Denly and take to the stage at Camden’s Roundhouse to receive the trophy. Simon Harmer, Ryan Higgins and Dom Sibley join England all-rounder Ben Stokes in being nominated for the prize.

Along with the NatWest PCA Players’ Player of the Year, the PCA Young Player of the Year and the NatWest Women’s Player of the Summer will also be announced.

In 1970, Procter received the main prize alongside Bond after taking 50 first-class wickets at 20.78 apiece and claiming 12 List A scalps at 25.41.

“I think it’s probably the best award you can get, to be honest.

“These are the guys who are your enemies on the field throughout the season, so to earn that respect and see a number of these guys vote for you is a really special feeling.

“My memories of playing against Jack Bond aren’t too good because Gloucestershire didn’t manage to beat Lancashire very often!

“He was a fantastic captain for Lancashire and saved them from down the order on so many occasions. He was truly a leader from the front.

“To have won the award alongside him was a massive privilege for me.”

Seven years later, Procter became only the second man to collect the main award on multiple occasions after taking 147 wickets in all formats in the same season that Gloucestershire won their second major honour. Lancashire man Peter Lee had become the first player to achieve the feat just one year previously.

“It made me very proud to win the award twice, particularly as 1977 was my first year as Gloucestershire captain.

“Over and above everything I just wanted to do well for Gloucestershire – I didn’t worry too much about averages and everything like that.

“It was a fantastic season for myself and the club, winning the Benson & Hedges Cup, so to also collect the individual award was definitely the cherry on the cake.”

As a double PCA award winner, Procter has one message for the nominees for this year’s main prizes.

“Remember that you have been nominated for these awards by your fellow players, and there can’t be a bigger honour than that – particularly in the 50th anniversary year.

“It’s been a special summer for cricket in England so I hope you all have an absolute ball and celebrate properly.”

Click here to find out more about the 50th NatWest PCA Awards ceremony.

2018 NatWest PCA Awards

Go behind the scenes at last year's NatWest PCA Awards ceremony...