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Stroud and Proud: Jack Russell – tea, painting, and Oliver Twist

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Stroud’s favourite sporting son Jack Russell, the former Gloucestershire and England wicket-keeper and now an acclaimed artist talks to Stroud Times.

When were you at your happiest?  When playing a sport, in particular cricket, especially at Stroud Cricket Club, Farmhill. 

What has been your biggest disappointment? Loss of brother David, 1986. 

What is your guiltiest pleasure? Tea and chocolate biscuits. 

What is your favourite smell? The smell of the air when in the Uplands. You could blindfold me and put me on the grass outside 4 The Circle and I’d know where I was. 

Who would play you in a film about your life? Al Pacino in the style of his Serpico film from the 70s – seeing that’s my era when growing up. Also, he’s the right size for a wicket-keeper! 

What do you like most about  Stroud? : The five valleys of countryside. 

Jack Russell MBE
Former England International Cricket Wicket Keeper Jack Russell MBE, in his gallery in Chipping Sodbury. Picture by Paul Nicholls Photography, 07718 152168. WWW.PAULNICHOLLSPHOTOGRAPHY.COM

What would you improve about Stroud? The streets and shops of the town, get them packed out and thriving again as it was when I was a youngster.  You couldn’t move for people in town on a Saturday morning! 

What is your ideal weekend?  Painting pictures in the Stroud valleys and watching Forest Green Rovers win at home. 

What is on your bucket list? Paint as many pictures as I can in inspiring places.  Would like to paint a picture in every Gloucestershire parish. 

What is the most important  lesson life has taught you? Time is precious, make the day count. When it gets to the evening, think a little bit about making tomorrow count!

What book, song, and drink would you take with you if stranded on an uninhabited island? Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens and  Baker Street by Gerry Rafferty, who once lived in Stroud! My drink would be tea with milk, one sugar.  

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