Peter Marron, the head groundsman at Old Trafford, will leave Lancashire at the end of the year to pursue other opportunities as a freelance consultant .
Marron, 53, has been at Old Trafford for three decades and has become one of the most respected groundsmen in the country. So highly regarded was he that in 2006 the county awarded him a benefit, an almost unprecedented award for a non player.
"Peter has been thinking about this for sometime, and it's something he and I have discussed at length over the past couple of months," Lancashire's chief executive Jim Cumbes said. "He's been head groundsman here for 25 years, and there are things away from Old Trafford he would like to do, and felt if he didn't do them now, he never would.
"To my mind, he has been the best groundsman in the country for years. And I know he doesn't win the top awards, but they tend to go to those with the flattest pitches, not necessarily the best cricket pitches! You just need to read the comments made by the England team and touring sides over recent years, and they are always full of praise for the pitches at Old Trafford.
"He has just completed installing our new £600,000 start-of-the-art drainage system and outfield, and will be kept busy over the coming weeks overseeing the turfing and maintenance of this. It's not the last we will see of him, as I fully expect him to be driving the re-orientation of the square when that takes place at the end of 2009, it's just he won't be here on a full-time basis."
On making the decision Peter Marron said; "Not many people can come to work each morning and honestly say they love their job, but I can. However, when you've been doing it for as long as I have, you get to a point when you need a new challenge and want to use your knowledge in a different capacity.
"Lancashire and Old Trafford is a massive part of who I am. I've had the best and the worst of times whilst working here, and over the years some work colleagues have become my closet friends. But there is a big wide world out there, and you just know when it's time to pass over the reigns and try something new."