Dedicated cricket man Alan Vollans has been awarded a British Empire Medal in the Queen's Birthday Honours for services to the game and the local community.
Alan, aged 80, has served Anston Cricket Club for 40 years as a player, groundsman and then as a coach, setting up a junior team which provided the seed for the growth of a junior section which now attracts more than 150 children a week.
"I got quite a shock when I heard the news because I didn't know I was in line for this sort of thing, but obviously I'm pleased and proud," said Alan. "The response has been phenomenal."
The dedicated servant joined Anston CC as a senior player in 1979 at a time when there were only two men's teams playing competitive cricket, plus a Sunday friendly side.
Out of a will to see a junior team, Alan started coaching a small group of young boys and formed a team which entered the local junior league.
With the success of the U11s team he continued with other age groups (U9s and U15s).
He got trained to ensure the highest possible standard of safeguarding and became child welfare officer for the Bassetlaw and District Cricket League.
As a result of this, Anston CC went through the England and Wales Cricket Board Clubmark Accreditation.
Alan works with local primary schools and arranges sports sessions and events. He is a coach for softball cricket in primary schools under the England and Wales Cricket Board's "Chance to Shine" programme.
Working with schools in the Dinnington and Anston area, he enables all eight junior schools to be able to provide cricket sessions and all schools soon entered the Boys Kwik Cricket competition.
Alan, Anston CC's president, also set up and played for the Yorkshire Over-50s team, the side eventually spurning two Over-60s teams in the county and now an Over-70s team in tandem with Lincolnshire.
The award also comes in the year Anston CC celebrates its centenary and the 25th anniversary of its ladies hardball cricket team.
You can read the original article from the Rotherham Advertiser HERE