PCA celebrates record 50th anniversary
The Professional Cricketers’ Association celebrated its 50th anniversary by raising a record £700,000 for the PCA Professional Cricketers' Trust.
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Formed in 1967 to represent and improve conditions for professional cricketers in England and Wales, 2017 saw the PCA reflect on five decades of safeguarding the rights of past, present and future first class cricketers.
A Legacy Year Appeal was launched with members encouraged to donate memorabilia, experiences and their time to raise money throughout the year for the Professional Cricketers’ Trust. The players’ charity is the PCA’s commitment to helping former and current players and their dependants in times of hardship and upheaval, or to readjust to the world beyond the game.
The PCA’s golden jubilee was kick started by former England captain Graham Gooch donating £50,000 to the Professional Cricketers’ Trust from the Graham Gooch Scholarship with him linking his generous donation to the education of cricketers about the dangers of gambling addiction.
Gambling workshops were delivered throughout pre-season with sessions presented at the annual Rookie Camp and to all county clubs throughout England and Wales.
As the PCA identity changed from the traditional green and red to gold, Worcestershire batsman Daryl Mitchell was elected the new PCA Chairman, taking over from Mark Wallace who held the role for four years.
The 50th anniversary saw the PCA run 30 events throughout 2017 headlining with the NatWest PCA Awards, Ashes Farewell and the 50th Anniversary Dinner at the Roundhouse with PCA President Andrew Flintoff.
The year-long celebration was supported by just shy of 100 commercial partners who attended events throughout the year. With the PCA being a not-for-profit association, all funds raised through the extensive events programme will be reinvested into supporting PCA members.
Fundraising challenges throughout the year were held, with members supporting their charity which was headlined by Big Bike Ride 3 which saw over £100,000 raised for the PCA Professional Cricketers’ Trust and Tom Maynard Trust.
Added to the money raised at PCA events, the total figure raised for the PCA Professional Cricketers’ Trust exceeded £700,000 which was the most successful fundraising year ever for the players’ charity.
Newly elected Chairman, Mitchell, was one of 60 riders who cycled the five day challenge which saw them travel from Birmingham to Cardiff encompassing 360 miles and a climb of over 26,000 feet and is delighted to see everyone’s hard work make such a difference.
“2017 was a momentous year for the PCA and one everybody involved with the association should be extremely proud of.”
“Having the honour of being elected Chairman back in February and then appointed a Trustee of the Professional Cricketers’ Trust, it has been a real eye opener into the work the PCA does for past, present and future professionals in this country,” said Mitchell.
“To raise £700,000 in just 12-months for the Professional Cricketers’ Trust has exceeded all expectations and to be able to tell just a few stories of the work that goes on behind the scenes in last year’s Professional Cricketers’ Trust video was extremely powerful.
“On behalf of all PCA members, I would like to thank everybody who made the 50th anniversary one to remember, especially those who contributed to a record-breaking year for the Professional Cricketers’ Trust.”
One of the PCA founding partners and former England bowler Fred Rumsey was recognised due to his work in setting up the association as he was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award at the NatWest PCA Awards and looks back at his achievements with pride.
“I was delighted to see the fact it (the PCA) got past the first year."
“Back in 1967 the administrators of the game were introducing a new competition and we already played six days a week. They were now threatening to bring in a Sunday League and we wouldn’t have any days off so I thought that was one step too far,” said Rumsey.
“It was necessary for players to have some representation so I wrote to every secretary and every senior professional outlining my views on forming an association that could bring the players views to the administrators and it went from there.
“The PCA are a true representation of the player in today’s cricket. They have developed the ideas we had initially and polished them.
“The wonderful things the PCA have done between the first year and now pleases me enormously.”
To support the PCA Professional Cricketers’ Trust click here.