PCA PRESS RELEASE
Over the weekend Dean Headley, Simon Jones and Darren Maddy have taken the plunge and thrown themselves out of a plane to raise money for the PCA Professional Cricketers' Trust’s Legacy Year Appeal.
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Headley, the former England quick, who has seen these aerial displays featured at sporting events he has hosted decided it was now his turn to face the challenge.
The trio of former England internationals were joined by three cricket supporters and between them have raised over £4,600 for the PCA’s charity with the total still rising.
The Professional Cricketers’ Trust is in place to support current and former 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 which was the motivation for Headley.
“It was a bit surreal, you’re 10,000ft in the air, and your brain isn’t computing that,” said Headley.
“It’s like you’re looking at a great big map, you don’t know that there’s building there. To understand fear, you need to have something you can refer to.
“It wasn’t like ‘I can’t get off the edge of the plane,’ that never came into it.”
Originally scheduled for the summer, weather conditions meant that it could be only completed in mid-November, leading to a bitterly cold descent at 120mph.
“It was like you’re floating, the world is coming at you, you’re not really thinking. If I go to the edge of the building, I don’t like that, I’m not great with heights. I don’t think this relates to that, it was one of the most surreal experiences.”
When asked if anyone suffered any last-minute jitters as the time came, Headley said everyone reassuringly confirmed everyone took the leap.
“Not one person wanted to back out… Simon Jones didn’t really like it, it wasn’t the jumping out the plane, it was when the plane was circling before you had to jump – that’s more like a rollercoaster.
“The free falling is very calming, it’s hard to describe, it’s not a frantic adrenaline rush – I don’t like rollercoasters – this is calmness personified.
“Darren Maddy came down and straight away said ‘I’m doing that again, I need to go up higher, come down longer!’”
With 60 Test wickets to his name, including a six-for at the MCG in the Boxing Day Test, Headley could be forgiven for not feeling nervous ahead of the jump.
“It’s a build-up, you could relate it to your Test debut, once you get there you just want to get it started. I remember my debut when I bowled, you just do it. You’re not thinking, you’re going to bowl this ball and see what happens.”
Although he would be open to doing one again, he had no hesitation in recommending players, past and present in raising money for the PCA Professional Cricketers’ Trust by doing a skydive.
“It’s an easy thing to do, you sign up and try to raise more than £200. As a group, team building maybe for pre-season? Find out where your local one is and do it.
“I wouldn’t mind pointing players in the direction of doing one, it’s something worth doing, and I would recommend it to everyone.
“It could be a really good continuous money raiser for the PCA Professional Cricketers’ Trust. I would like to see the some of the other boys do it, a group of them going down.”