Tuesday 7 August 2007 

Who Is Warwickshire's Greatest Ever Coach?

All summer fans have been voting for their Greatest Ever Warwickshire players across five voting categories. There has been lively debate on the nominees, the categories and how Warwickshire’s Greatest Ever should be selected.

While the players are being recognised for their performances, there has been comment that few of the characters behind the teams are being recognised. Now a sixth voting category, Warwickshire’s County Cricket’s Greatest Ever Coach, has been added.

There are three nominees in this category:

EJ ‘Tiger’ Smith – a Warwickshire playing legend as a wicketkeeper and coach of the 1951 Championship winning side

Bob Woolmer – more trophies than any other coach including the triple winning season of 1994 when the county lost just 4 games in all competitions

John Inverarity – coach of the 2004 Championship winning team

Speaking from Perth on his nomination, John Inverarity said: "I feel flattered to be bracketed with Tiger and Bob. My vote would be for Tiger and Bob equal first with myself a distant third, picking up the Bronze Medal. I greatly enjoyed my three summers with The Bears. I enjoyed the cricket the team played, the dressing room and the camaraderie and the friendships of the players, support staff and others in the Club, not least the great team of supporters from Section 19. They were loyal and fantastic. Have a wonderful day and evening."

On hearing the news, Bob Woolmer’s widow Gill said, “Bob would have thought it a great honour to be nominated as 'greatest ever coach' by the fans of the Club. The fact that his work has been recognised and that it had an impact on cricket coaching in general would have given him immense satisfaction. It was a job he loved till the end."

Votes can only be cast at www.greatestever.com/wccc where profiles of all three coaches can be found. All votes are automatically entered into a prize ticket draw.

WCC’s Greatest Ever is part of the county’s 125th Year celebrations and fans are currently voting for the Greatest Ever team. The programme culminates on Friday 31st August when a team of Warwickshire Legends take the field against a PCA Masters XI of former internationals. In the evening a gala dinner will unveil who the fans have voted as Warwickshire’s Greatest Ever team.

Playing for the Warwickshire Legends will be Brian Lara, Allan Donald, Dermot Reeve, Nick Knight, Keith Piper and Dougie Brown, while the PCA Masters will have Devon Malcom, Jimmy Adams and Phil Simmons.

© Warwickshire CCC