New Worcestershire chairman Percy Price last night vowed to bring continued success to the county but without changing the overall welcoming face of one of England's most familiar sporting backdrops.
The 60-year-old retired Black Country businessman was voted in at the county's first end-of-season board meeting, replacing John Elliott, his good friend who has agreed to put in another year's service after standing down as chairman after eight years, as Worcestershire celebrated promotion at four-day and one-day cricket.
Price, a keen golfer (he plays at Blackwell and has memberships at Valderrama, Sotogrande and Royal Porthcawl), a life-long Worcester-shire follower and a Wolver-hampton Wanderers season ticket-holder, was co-opted on to the board nearly a year ago with a view to helping to coordinate the proposed £7 million ground improvement scheme.
The owner of the business he created in 1972 - Martyn Price (Bolts & Nuts) Ltd - and which he sold in March, Price can now devote time to one of his life-long loves. "The timing of this is perfect," he said. "My predecessor has left us in a very good position both on and off the field. We have got something special down here and it must be looked after and treasured."
Nick Siviter, from Stourport-based Lombard Properties, was also elected on to the board and will be involved in the plans to transform the New Road side of the ground.
Stourbridge-born Price, christened Martyn but nicknamed Percy at the age of five, added: "Tom Moody left us in a state of flux last year. And Steve Rhodes wasn't able to impose himself but he's had a fantastic year and built a very good side.
"I would like to help bring success here but at the same time make this still the sort of place where people look forward to coming." n Relegated Old Hill have failed in their appeal to over-turn a ten-point deduction handed to them by the Birmingham Midshires League.
The club, until last month one of only two of the original members of the Birmingham League never relegated, were handed the penalty after one of their main club officials was found guilty of verbally abusing an umpire during the home match against Walsall on July 29.
Old Hill's failure to deal with the matter internally led to them appearing before the league's disciplinary sub-committee in early September when they were penalised ten points. Had Old Hill won their remaining two matches and the punishment been upheld it could have cost them relegation. But, despite winning on the final day, Old Hill would have been relegated to Division One anyway under their own steam.