Wright calls time on county career
Shropshire bowls history maker Derek Wright has called time on his county career.
Having made well over 100 appearances for Shropshire at senior team level, the Wem USC legend has decided enough is enough, writes Malcolm Fletcher.
His decision was announced at the latest county executive meeting when chairman Barry Jennings called for a round of applause in recognition of Wright’s loyal and super service – both as a player, captain and selector.
Wright, a double winner of the Shropshire Senior Merit, made bowls history as recently as September when he became the first bowler to win both the Senior and Veterans Merits run by the British Parks when he triumphed in the over-60 competition.
He returned to his old stomping ground at Chester Road – who he helped win the County Cup in 2011 – to lift the veterans trophy and add to his British Parks Senior Merit success of 1996.
He beat Adderley ace Alan Boulton – representing North Staffordshire – 21-10 in the final.
“Yes I’m proud. I’ve recovered quite well and it’s on to the next tournament now,” said the 61-year-old at the time.
But his schedule will no longer include Shropshire senior matches, meaning his last county game will go down as a 21-19 defeat at Shawbury’s Elephant & Castle in July against Neil Smith of Cheshire.
A proud Salopian, Wright made the Wem USC first team by the age of 11, won his first County Merit aged 20, was tops in a competition in Portugal, and in 1992 became Shropshire’s first winner of the Isle of Man September Festival.
He made his county debut in 1979 and, as a selector alongside Keith Pessall in 1992, guided the county to their first Supplementary championship success.
But his proudest moment in a county shirt was when he captained the away side in the 2009 Crosfield Cup final triumph over Yorkshire that saw Shropshire crowned British county champions.