VIP guests at the Cricket in the City dinner (left to right) are John Giles, Dougie Brown, Tony Frost, Cyrille Regis, Andy Flower, Gary Shaw, Dave Hemp and Neil GambleRead Steve James on Andy Flower and the David Shepherd Cricket Foundation - click the logo
ENGLAND team director Andy Flower found time in his busy schedule to be guest of honour at a 'Cricket in the City' dinner in his role as patron of the David Shepherd Cricket Foundation.
Cricket supporters the world over always looked forward to the sight of David Shepherd hopping on one leg when the score was on a "Nelson" or 111.
Fittingly 111 guests - including sporting luminaries such as John Giles, Jack Davey, Cyrille Regis MBE, Gary Shaw, Wasim Khan and Kabir Ali ,as well as a number of Warwickshire cricketers past and present - gathered at the Café Rouge in Birmingham to celebrate the launch of the foundation.
The charitable foundation was set up to remember Shepherd, who died in 2009. Shepherd started out in cricket with North Devon CC and Devon before turning pro with Gloucestershire, then having a long career as a Test match umpire.
With events at the second Test match against India still a major talking point, Andy Flower paid tribute to a man who was synonymous with the spirit of the game.
'I was delighted to be asked to be patron of the foundation set up in 'Shep's' honour - he was universally recognised as one of the fairest and most respected umpires in the game and I am sure he would have approved of the eventual outcome of 'Bellgate' at Lord's two weeks ago,' said Flower.
Flower (pictured right doing a Q&A with Devon's Roger Newman) spoke at length of his early life in Rhodesia and how his family had to flee the country following the rise of the Mugabe regime. He was also ranked number one batsman in the world when playing for Zimbabwe in the 1990's.
Other celebrities included former Warwickshire player and Foundation coach Kabir Ali, former England opening batsman Alan Oakman and ex soccer stars Johnny Giles and Cyril Regis.
The David Shepherd Foundation has been established with the objective of helping young people, from all cultural and sociological backgrounds, to realise their dreams and improve their lives through cricket.
'The Cricket in the City dinner is one of a number of initiatives aimed at raising £111,000 over two years for this important charitable foundation,' said event organiser Roger Newman.
'We are very grateful to Andy for taking time out of his busy schedule to be with us. Thanks also go to the evening's event sponsors Wragge & Co LLP, Café Rouge and NC Creative Group.'
Around £5,000 was raised at the dinner which will go into foundation coffers.Trustees and officials of the David Shepherd Cricket Foundation with Andy Flower. Left to rigjht are: Roger Newman, Jack Davey, Flower, Stuart Munday, Geoff Evans, Paul Bowser and Jamie Horner