Former England and Gloucestershire cricket legend Jack Russell MBE has heaped praise on his teacher and sporting mentor John Evans.
In a surprise ceremony at Frocester Cricket Club this afternoon, Stroud Times presented John ‘Evo’ Evans their inaugural Sporting Legend Trophy for his all-round services to sport and his recent success at the Silver Ashes Down Under, where he helped England Over-70s to glory over their old rivals Australia.
Frocester cricketer Ali Downey presented the trophy to ‘Evo’ and then read out a personal message from Jack Russell.
Russell said: “I’ve known John Evans from when he arrived at Archway School as one of our sports masters back in the 1970s.
“I was delighted to hear of his selection for the England Over-70s Tour of Australia and even more delighted to see he played such a pivotal role in the team’s success.
“I’m not surprised because his unquenchable enthusiasm has been a part of our local sporting fabric for many years. What he has achieved not just for himself but in support of local sports men and women of all ages has been absolutely priceless.
“Congrats on bringing the Grey Ashes back Evo! Keep doing what you’re doing for us as long as you can.”
Frocester’s James ‘Slim’ Catto, who accompanied Evans on tour to Australia was also presented with an engraved glass from the club.
Ash Loveridge added: “Evo deserves all the accolades he gets. He was also my sports teacher at Archway and my sporting hero.
“I remember cheering him on when he played for Gloucester City, Forest Green and Cheltenham as a skilful forward. Watching him captain Frocester at Lord’s was also an incredible sporting moment and then he went onto manage Forest Green and guide Shortwood into the FA Cup First Round. To see him still playing cricket into his 70s is just inspirational.”